Starting Saturday, residents in the 418 area code will have to dial all 10 digits for local calls



    QUEBEC, June 17 /CNW Telbec/ - Starting June 21, 2008, people living in
the 418 region will have to dial the area code followed by the seven-digit
telephone number at all times when making local calls. This change will affect
more than 1.2 million residents spread out over a vast territory including the
following municipalities: Alma, Baie-Comeau, Chibougamau, Québec, Rimouski,
Rivière-du-Loup, Saguenay, Schefferville, Sept-Iles, St-Georges and Thetford
Mines.
    Those who do not dial all 10 digits will hear a recorded message
reminding them that they must dial the area code and the seven-digit number.
Their call will then be forwarded. However, it is important to note that any
data transmissions (faxes and Internet) could be affected by this recorded
message.
    It is therefore crucial that consumers and businesses reprogram their
communications systems and devices before June 21 to avoid any inconvenience
that may be caused by the recorded message.
    "Dialling all 10 numbers has recently been successfully introduced all
over Quebec and in many other regions of Canada. We are confident that
businesses and residents in the region will make a smooth transition," said
Lucie Papineau Pugliese, spokesperson for the Telecommunications Alliance of
Québec.

    Programming communications systems and devices

    Consumers and businesses must add the 418 area code to all the numbers
stored in the memory of their different communications systems and devices,
for example, telephones, wireless devices, computers, and fax machines. They
must also verify with their service provider if their alarm or security system
has already been reprogrammed for 10-digit dialling. Consumers and businesses
can find useful information on this subject by visiting the website:
www.dial10.ca

    Intercept message

    Local calls dialled with seven digits will be intercepted by a network
message that will be introduced progressively between June 21 and June 27 by
telecommunications companies. The message is only 13 seconds long and reminds
users that they must dial 10 digits. At this stage, phone calls will continue
to be forwarded until the cut-off date, September 6, 2008, after which time,
if a seven-digit number has been dialled, it will not go through.

    A new area code in the 418 region

    Starting September 2008, a new area code will be introduced - 581,
according to the overlay method. "The new area code will coexist alongside the
418 area code and will cover the same geographic territory. This method is
advantageous because it will not have an impact on existing telephone numbers.
The 581 area code will be used for new numbers only, as needed," added Lucie
Papineau Pugliese.

    The Telecommunications Alliance

    The Telecommunications Alliance was created with this communications
initiative in mind. The Alliance joins together Bell, TELUS, Vidéotron,
Rogers, Télébec, Sogetel, Fido, Allstream as well as other telephone companies
represented by the Association des Compagnies de Téléphone du Québec (ACTQ).
For more information on 10-digit dialling, visit the website: www.dial10.ca




For further information:

For further information: Pierre-Luc Paquette, Optimum Public Relations,
(514) 282-4802, (514) 705-4802 (cell), Pierre-Luc.Paquette@Cossette.com;
Source: Telecommunications Alliance

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