Monday, July 07, 2008

Ten-digit dialing coming to a phone near you

Until Feb. 28 you can only dial seven digits and still get connected, but the whole thing is rather complicated. The Charleston Sunday Gazette-Mail reports:

Starting July 26, phone customers in West Virginia should begin dialing 10 digits (the area code plus the seven-digit phone number) whenever a local call is placed from the 304 area code.

Customers who forget and dial just seven digits will still be connected. But this "permissive dialing" period will end Feb. 28, 2009, when customers must use the 10-digit dialing procedure for all local calls. After this date, if customers do not dial 10 digits their call will not be completed. A recording will instruct them to hang up and dial again.

Beginning March 28, new telephone lines or services may be assigned numbers with the 681 area code.

This is all part of the transition to a system whereby the state will have two area codes: 304 and 681.

AT&T sent information about the transition to some business customers last week. Verizon is enclosing a brochure about the transition in its July bills. Byron Harris, director of the state Public Service Commission's Consumer Advocate Division, said information about the transition will be on the division's Web site,, next week.

We took a chance when we named 304 Blogs with the new area code coming soon, but 304 will be forever be West Virginia's area code as far as most are concerned.


Blogger said...

Thanks for the head-up Bill. I didn't know anything about it since I have Vonage. Suddenlink is going to offer residential phone services soon and it will be great to have all my stuff bundled up into one bill.

9:05 AM  
Blogger TTHBTK said...

I agree! It'll always be the three-oh-four to me! How funny is it that this kind of thing would mess with our comfort level? I guess it's not only that, but the fact that it's kind of annoying. Eh...who am I kidding. They're all stored in my cell phone anyway.

Will Charleston remain 304 or will we be the ones getting the boot?

11:19 PM  
Blogger MountainLaurel said...

The way I understand it, no numbers will change. All new numbers, though, will be 681. Which could add to all sorts of oddness, as in your next-door-neighbor having a different area code or your cell and home being different.

10:32 AM  
Blogger Direct Online Marketing said...

Viva La!

10:39 AM  
Blogger Chris James said...

"304" is so much easier to flash as a gang sign than "681."

9:24 AM  

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