Bell Atlantic Launches Campaign to Get Callers Ready
for New Area Codes, 10-Digit Dialing
Two New Codes Coming Mid-1999 in Southeastern Pennsylvania;
Callers Should Begin Dialing 'Ten-number Number' Dec. 5
November 19, 1998
PHILADELPHIA - Bell Atlantic is kicking off a campaign to
inform southeastern Pennsylvanians about the introduction of two new
area codes next year and a new way to make phone calls.
Beginning in July, local telephone companies may assign numbers
in the new 267 and 484 area codes to customers who request new service,
an additional line or - in some cases - who want to move their service.
The new 267 area code will have the same geographic boundaries as the
current 215 area code. The new 484 area code will parallel the boundaries
of the current 610 area code.
Existing phone numbers in the 215 and 610 area codes will not
change, but all callers will need to dial the area code and seven-digit
phone number - or "Ten-number NumberSM" - when they make any calls
within or between these four area codes.
"Customers in the 215 and 610 area codes should begin dialing
Ten-number Numbers Dec. 5," said Sandra Scott, Bell Atlantic -
Pennsylvania area code customer education manager. "If they forget to
dial all ten numbers, the calls will still go through for the next six months
while people become familiar with the new way of dialing.
"But after June 5, 1999, callers who dial a seven-digit number will
hear a recorded message instructing them to dial both the area code and
telephone number," she added. "Bell Atlantic encourages customers to
begin dialing the Ten-number Number on Dec. 5 to get used to this change
as soon as possible."
In addition, customers calling between the 215 and 610 area codes
no longer will have to dial "1" first. "However, their calls will still go
through if they first dial '1,' " said Scott.
The demand for new telephone numbers is exploding as people are
communicating more than ever using additional phone lines, cellular
phones, pagers, computer modems and fax machines. In addition,
Pennsylvanians increasingly have a choice of which company provides
their local phone service, and these competing companies require phone
numbers for their customers.
This heavy demand for phone numbers is driving the need for new
area codes in Pennsylvania and across the country. In fact, the new 570
area code will be carved out of the current 717 area to serve northeastern
Pennsylvania, and the 724 code was created in western Pennsylvania by
splitting the 412 area code into two parts earlier this year.
The additional area codes and move to Ten-number Number
dialing in southeastern Pennsylvania will not affect current telephone
numbers, dialing to reach 911 service, the price of telephone service or
local calling areas. A local call today will still be a local call when 10-
digit dialing and the new area codes are in effect. Customers can get more
information on their local calling areas by checking the customer guide
section in the front of their Bell Atlantic White Pages directories.
Consumers and businesses must reprogram any telephone system
or optional service such as Call Forwarding that dials other phone
numbers in southeastern Pennsylvania by June 5. (NOTE TO EDITORS: A
list of some equipment and services that may require reprogramming
follows this release.)
For customers who want an easy way to dial frequently called Ten-
number Numbers, Bell Atlantic currently has a special offer for its Speed
Dialing 8 service. With Speed Dialing 8, customers can program eight
commonly called numbers and then dial them by pushing one button.
Customers who order Speed Dialing 8 before June 1999 will receive the
service free for three months. Speed Dialing 8 is $1.50 a month per line
for residential customers and $5 monthly per line for businesses.
Interested customers should call 877-246-3095 (toll-free) to order.
Bell Atlantic is kicking off its customer education campaign with a
newsletter that describes the new area codes and dialing change. Called
Extra!, the newsletter is included in customers' November telephone bills.
The company also plans to distribute information on the new codes and
dialing procedure at upcoming special events such as the Philadelphia
"We want customers to adapt to these changes as comfortably as
possible, and we will do all we can to help minimize any confusion and
concerns," said Scott.
Pennsylvanians can get more information on the area codes and
dialing changes by calling Bell Atlantic's toll-free Area Code Information
Line (800-500-2167) or visiting the company's special area code pages on
the World Wide Web (http://www.bellatlantic.com/areacode).
Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and
information industry. With 42 million telephone access lines and eight
million wireless customers worldwide, Bell Atlantic companies are
premier providers of advanced wireline voice and data services, market
leaders in wireless services and the world's largest publishers of directory
information. Bell Atlantic companies are also among the world's largest
investors in high-growth global communications markets, with operations
and investments in 23 countries.
Business and residential customers with phone numbers in the 215 and
610 area codes who have telephone equipment or a Bell Atlantic service
that currently dials seven-digit phone numbers in southeastern
Pennsylvania should reprogram that equipment or service as soon as
possible to dial the new codes and the Ten-number NumberSM for every
seven-digit number they dial today. This reprogramming must be
completed by June 5, 1999.
Some examples of equipment or Bell Atlantic services that may need to be
* Computers used for Internet access
* Speed dialing lists
* Automatic dialers
* Cellular and mobile phones
* Security systems (ask your security company)
* PBX business phone systems (ask your PBX supplier)
* Fax machines
* Call Block
* Priority Call
* Home Voice Mail or Answer Call with special delivery
* Call Forwarding
* Call GateSM Service
* Do Not Disturb Service
In addition, be sure to update phone lists, databases, billing records and
address books to include area codes. Notify business contacts, associates,
friends and relatives of your area code. And be sure to include the area
code when exchanging telephone numbers.
For more information on Pennsylvania area codes or Ten-number Number
dialing, call Bell Atlantic's Area Code Information Line on 800-500-2167
(toll-free) or visit the company's area code pages on the World Wide Web