2003-01-25 / Community

Telephone Dialing Change Begins February 1

Telephone Dialing Change Begins February 1

Telephone Dialing Change Begins February 1

New Yorkers are reminded that, pursuant to Federal Communications Commission rules, beginning February 1, 2003, all calls dialed in New York City must be dialed using the area code.

To complete every call – including calls to another number in the same area code – callers must dial a 1+ the area code + the 7 digit local number (that is, 1+10 digits). Calls placed after February 1, 2003, using only the 7-digit local number will not go through; instead, the caller will hear a recorded message stating that the area code must be used to complete the call.

The FCC requires 1 + 10 digit dialing for all calls when a geographic region has more than one area code. New York City is served by five area codes. The 917 area code serves the entire city. The 212 and 646 area codes serve Manhattan. The 718 and 347 area codes serve Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island.

Since the spring of 2002, local telephone companies have been implementing multi-lingual public education plans to inform residents and businesses in New York City about the dialing change. These efforts include informational bill inserts, radio and print advertising, mailings to security alarm companies, meetings with targeted groups, and press releases.

As has been emphasized in telephone company public education efforts, it is essential that New Yorkers prepare for 1 + 10 digit dialing by re-programming all automatic dialing equipment. Automatic dialing equipment can include companies using dial-up services for Internet access, fax machines, automatic dialers, call forwarding services, and security alarm systems.

Although the FCC rule will change the dialing pattern for all calls throughout the city, the dialing pattern will not affect the price of the call. Additionally, calls to 911 or 411 are not affected by this change.

The FCC requirement regarding 1 + 10 digit dialing is designed to ensure that competing local phone companies are not disadvantaged in regions served by more than one area code. Thus, customers of all local phone companies in such areas will dial the same number of digits to place a call, ensuring uniform dialing requirements for all customers.

For a copy of the New York City area code map, one may access the Department of Public Service’s website at www.AskPSC.com, which includes a Consumer Alert about the dialing changes (many libraries offer free Internet access, or call the Department’s toll-free information line at 1-888-Ask_PSCI (1-888-275-7721).

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