11.10.1999|Corporate

Southern New Jersey Area Code Change Finalized Saturday

Southern New Jersey Area Code Change Finalized Saturday

Callers Must Dial New 856 Area Code To Complete Calls

Nov. 10, 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 Saturday, calls will be completed only when callers use the new 856 area code. While the dialing change will begin on Saturday, it will take a few 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 Saturday.

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 is included at the end of this release. This is the most recent information provided by the North American Numbering Plan Administrator. List is subject to change.)

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     380     382     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
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     610     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     831     833
837     840     842     843     845     848     851     853     854     855     857     858
863     864     866     867     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     954     956     957     961     960     962     963
964     966     968     969     974     975     979     982     983     985     986     988
994     995     996

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