Mandatory 10-digit local dialing: Transition period ends September 6, 2008



    QUEBEC CITY, Aug. 28 /CNW Telbec/ - Starting September 6, 2008, 10-digit
local dialing will become mandatory in the 418 area of Quebec. The transition
period that began on June 21 has come to an end, and calls will no longer be
automatically redirected if they are not dialled with the area code. The
Telecommunications Alliance (www.dial10.ca) is advising everyone who has not
already done so to start 10-digit local dialing now. It is also essential that
all businesses and consumers reprogram their phone systems and communication
devices by September 6 in order to complete their calls.
    Recent statistics indicate that 10-digit dialing is now being used in
over 97% of local calls placed in the 418 area, illustrating the success of
the Alliance's campaign, which started last spring. Any exceptions are due in
part to numbers that have been stored in the memory of various communication
systems and devices.
    "We are pleased with the high participation rates among residents in the
418 area. However, we must highlight the need to verify if all numbers stored
in communication systems and devices, particularly in alarm systems, Internet
connections, and speakerphones in elevators and buildings, have been
programmed for 10-digit dialing. This will help avoid any disruptions in data
transmission after the cut-off date of September 6, 2008," stated Lucie
Papineau Pugliese, spokesperson for the Telecommunications Alliance of Quebec.
    This change affects more than 1.2 million residents over a vast area
including the following municipalities: Alma, Baie-Comeau, Chibougamau, Quebec
City, Rimouski, Rivière-du-Loup, Saguenay, Schefferville, Sept-Iles,
Saint-Georges and Thetford Mines.

    A new area code in the 418 area

    Last spring, the Telecommunications Alliance announced that a new area
code - 581 - will be introduced after September 2008, in the same geographical
territory already served by the 418 area code. "The 581 area code will be used
for new numbers only and will not impact existing telephone numbers," said
Lucie Papineau Pugliese.

    The Telecommunications Alliance

    The Telecommunications Alliance was formed as part of this communications
initiative. The Alliance brings together Bell, TELUS, Vidéotron, Rogers,
Télébec, Sogetel, Fido, Allstream as well as the telephone companies
represented the Association des Compagnies de Téléphone du Québec. For more
information on 10-digit dialing, visit the website: www.dial10.ca.




For further information:

For further information: Pierre-Luc Paquette, Optimum Public Relations,
(514) 282-4802, Pierre-Luc.Paquette@Cossette.com; Source: The
Telecommunications Alliance of Quebec

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