Alabama residents will soon be dialing 10 digits

10-digit dialing is just around the corner for residents of Northeast Alabama. Beginning June 5th – those in the (256) area code will have to dial both the area code, and the seven digit phone number, even for local calls. According to the Alabama Public Service Commission, after June 5th anyone dialing a local number without first dialing the area code will get a recorded message instructing the caller to hang up – and then dial again – using all ten digits. The new 10-digit dialing has come about as existing phone numbers in the (256) region, are close to being exhausted – and the requirement will apply to all types of phone services within the (256) area code including wireless phones. Calls to 9-1-1 however, will remain the same and will continue to be dialed as they are now. Beginning in July a second area code (938) will be introduced into the area as well – a practice that is known as an area code “overlay”. All those already having (256) area codes will retain the area code along with the existing telephone number and will NOT be required to switch to a new one; anyone activating phone service after the 10th of July could receive a (938) number. Even after the new changes, all calls currently considered “Local” will still be “Local”, even though all 10 digits must be dialed – and – calls that are now “Long Distance”, will remain as such, after the 938 overlay goes into effect.

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