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10-digit dialing: what you'll need to do

April 29, 1997

What is happening? Starting Thursday, Bell Atlantic is requiring that all local calls in Maryland be made with the complete 10-digit combination of traditional seven-digit number plus the area code. For example, local calls to the The Herald-Mail will require dialing 301-733-5131.

Will I have to dial "1" first? No. Only long-distance calls require dialing "1" before the phone number.

Won't I be charged for a long-distance call? No. Local calls will still be charged the same. Even if you make a mistake and dial "1" first, local charges will apply.

Will this affect numbers like 411 and 911? No.

Why is Bell Atlantic doing this? Maryland is running out of available telephone numbers because of the booming growth in pagers, computer modems, cellular phones and other telecommunications devices.

What should I do to prepare for Thursday? Make sure all devices or services that have phone numbers programmed into them are changed. These include things like home burglar alarms, Internet access programs, fax machines and speed dialing.

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