Verizon Advises West Virginians to 'Fall Back' and Dial 10 This Sunday

CHARLESTON, W. Va. - This weekend, the change to Eastern Standard Time is also a good time to get ready for West Virginia's upcoming change to local 10-digit dialing.

As West Virginians reset their clocks, Verizon urges residents and businesses to reprogram fax machines and other equipment and services to dial the area code plus seven-digit phone number on all calls that previously only required seven digits.  Customers should practice 10-digit local dialing now.

In March of next year, West Virginia will add the 681 area code to the same geographic region as the 304 area code.  The new code will help create more telephone numbers in the state for the many providers in the state's telecommunications market.  

To prepare West Virginians for the new area code and local dialing change, a permissive dialing period began in July and will end Feb. 27, 2009.  During this time, local calls can be made by dialing either seven or 10 digits. 

Mandatory 10-digit local dialing begins Feb. 28, 2009.  On this date and thereafter, callers must use 10 digits for all local calls.  Otherwise, calls will not be completed and callers will get a recording instructing them to hang up and dial again.

"Early Sunday morning, West Virginians will reset their clock radios, VCRs, microwaves, computers, automatic timers, wrist watches, sprinkler systems and clocks," said B. Keith Fulton, president of Verizon West Virginia.  "It's also a good time for everyone to reprogram their equipment and services like fax machines, speed dialers, computer modems and burglar alarms for 10-digit dialing.

 "We want to help our West Virginia customers quickly adjust and make a smooth transition to the 10-digit system," said Fulton.  "It can be much easier if everyone plans ahead to reprogram their behavior and their equipment before February."

Businesses' Private Branch Exchange (PBX) equipment, as well as calling features such as call forwarding and speed calling, also will need to be programmed for 10-digit dialing.

West Virginia residents and businesses can get more information on the dialing change and equipment that needs reprogramming by contacting the West Virginia Public
Commission at 800-344-5113 or http://www.psc.state.wv.us.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a leader in delivering broadband and other wireline and wireless communication innovations to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving nearly 71 million customers nationwide.  Verizon's Wireline operations include Verizon Business, which delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world, and Verizon Telecom, which brings customers the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services over the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of more than 228,000 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of $93.5 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.