10.29.1999|Corporate

Southern New Jersey Area Code Change Finalized Nov. 13

Southern New Jersey Area Code Change Finalized Nov. 13

Callers Must Dial New 856 Area Code To Complete Calls

Oct. 29, 1999

Media contact: Cliff Lee, 518-396-1095
Soraya Rodriguez, 973-649-2279

NEWARK -- Beginning Saturday, Nov. 13, callers must dial the "856" area code to reach phone numbers in the new southern New Jersey area code.

The new 856 code went into effect in June, but since then callers have been able to reach numbers in the new area code even when they forgot and dialed the old 609 area code. However, the transition period is ending and beginning Nov. 13, calls will be completed only when callers use the new 856 area code. While the dialing change will begin on Nov. 13, it will take a few days days to implement throughout the region and, therefore, some 856 numbers may still be called with either the 856 or 609 area code for a few days after Nov. 13.

In February, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities voted to create millions of new local numbers by an east-west split of the existing 609 area code, with the eastern side keeping the 609 code and the western side receiving new 856 numbers.

The new area code encompasses Salem County, large portions of Cumberland, Gloucester and Camden counties and portions of Burlington and Atlantic counties.

(A list of exchanges in the new 856 area code, which was provided by the North American Numbering Plan Administrator on Sept. 15, 1999, is included at the end of this release.)

The five-month transition period was designed to allow callers an opportunity to adjust to the new area code and time reprogram automatic dialers and commercial switching systems.

"It is our hope that these five months have provided our customers time to adjust to the new area code," said William Freeman, president and CEO of Bell Atlantic-New Jersey. "We have attempted to make the transition as painless as possible and to minimize the impact on customers."

For a limited period of time after Nov. 13, callers who forget to dial "856" will hear a message instructing them to redial the number with the new area code so their call can be completed. Bell Atlantic is urging all its customers to tell their friends, family and business associates about the area code changes so that they do not miss calls.

Creation of the new area code will not affect rates or local calling within the region. Local calls will still be local calls, even though some customers may have to dial a "1" and the area code to complete the call.

Since June, Bell Atlantic has conducted a customer education program to inform area residents of the changes and to urge them to reprogram their telecommunications equipment and services -- including computer modems, autodialers, speed dialing, call forwarding, voice dialing, and security and medical alarms -- to reflect the new area code.

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, since Bell Atlantic has provided an open telephone market in New Jersey, dozens of other communications companies offer local phone service, and these competing companies need phone numbers for their customers.

Further information about the area code changes is available by calling Bell Atlantic at 1-800-719-6200 or by visiting the Bell Atlantic Web site at www.bellatlantic.com/areacode.

Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and information industry. With more than 43 million telephone access lines and more than 10 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.

Local Exchange Codes Included In New 856 Area Code
205     210     216     218     222     223     224     225     227     228     231     

232     233     234     235     237     240     241     244     245     246     248

249     250     251     253     255     256     262     270     271     273     274     

276     277     284     289     293     299     302     303     307     309     310     

312     317     318     321     322     323     325     327     328     331     337     

338     339     342     346     349     350     351     354     355     356     357     

358     359     363     365     367     374     377     379     384     385     401     

414     415     416     422     423     424     427     428     429     433     435     

437     438     439     445     446     447     451     453     454     455     456     

459     461     464     467     468     470     473     474     475     477     478     

479     481     482     483     486     488     489     507     508     515     521     

531     532     533     535     536     537     539     540     541     542     543     

544     545     546     547     549     552     563     564     565     566     568     

573     574     580     582     589     590     591     593     595     596     598     

600     608     613     614     616     619     622     623     627     629     630     

632     635     642     644     649     650     651     657     661     662     663     

665     667     668     669     672     674     675     678     681     686     690     

691     692     694     696     697     701     715     718     719     721     722     

727     728     733     736     738     740     741     742     746     751     752     

753     754     755     756     757     761     762     764     765     767     768     

769     770     772     773     776     778     779     782     783     784     785     

786     787     788     793     794     795     796     797     798     802     809     

810     813     821     824     825     829     830     831     833     837     840     

842     843     845     848     851     853     854     855     857     858     863     

864     866     869     873     874     875     878     879     881     885     891     

899     901     904     905     906     910     914     916     917     931     933     

935     938     939     940     946     956     957     961     960     962     963     

964     966     968     969     974     975     979     983     985     986     988     

994     995     996     

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