LOCAL 10-DIGIT DIALING: IT'S COMING IN MANITOBA - Businesses and residents encouraged to begin preparing early for new dialing rules

WINNIPEG, April 5 /CNW Telbec/ - Starting July 29, 2012, residents of Manitoba will be required to dial 10 digits - the area code followed by the seven-digit phone number- for all local calls. The introduction of 10-digit dialing is the result of a decision by the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) and will pave the way for the addition of a new area code, 431, in November 2012, as the 204 area code reaches capacity.

The ever-growing popularity of new telecommunications services and changes in the competitive environment are driving a huge increase in demand for phone numbers in the region. That is why 10-digit local dialing will be required for all wireline and wireless local calls in Manitoba. This dialing method allows for the introduction of a new area code that will create millions of new phone numbers.

The Telecommunications Alliance, a group of telecommunications companies operating in Manitoba is spearheading a public awareness campaign about local 10-digit dialing to inform business and residential customers in this area.

"Many regions in Canada have already successfully transitioned to local 10-digit dialing and we are confident these changes will be seamless for residents and businesses in Manitoba," said Glenn Pilley, spokesperson for the Telecommunications Alliance. "In order to ensure a successful transition, we recommend that people start reprogramming their equipment to comply with 10-digit local dialing as of December 1, 2011, as telecommunications companies operating in Manitoba will be able to support 10-digit dialed calls as of this date."

Residents will need to add the 204 area code to programmed numbers in all of their telecommunications devices (e.g., autodialers, fax machines, computers) and verify that their alarm systems are compatible with local 10-digit dialing. Companies that use numerous telecommunications systems and devices should also take the necessary steps to update their equipment. All adjustments must be made before July 29, 2012. Consumers and businesses can also find useful information on the Telecommunications Alliance website at www.dial10.ca

New area code
Starting in November 2012, a new area code, 431, will be added in Manitoba using the overlay method. This new area code will coexist with the current 204 area code and will cover the same geographic area. Customers with area code 204 numbers will retain their numbers. Numbers with the new 431 area code will only be assigned to customers for additional services on an as needed basis.  Introducing a new area code does not affect local calling areas in any way. Adding a new area code to a calling region requires changes in local dialing habits. Since the same phone number can now exist in both area codes, 10-digit local dialing - the area code followed by the seven-digit phone number - becomes mandatory in order for local calls to be connected and reach their appropriate destinations.

The Telecommunications Alliance
The Telecommunications Alliance, whose members include MTS Allstream, Rogers, TELUS, Bell and Westman Communications Group was formed to spearhead this public awareness initiative. Interested parties can find more information at www.dial10.ca


For further information:

Olivier Fillion Boutin
OPTIMUM Public Relations
855 234-2510

To reach Telecommunications Alliance members

MTS :   gillian.giesbrecht@mtsallstream.com
Rogers :  marina.guy@rci.rogers.com
Telus :  helen.petronski@telus.com
Bell :  jacqueline.michelis@bell.ca
Westman :     thomsonn@westmancom.com


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