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NORTH CAROLINA TO ADD NEW AREA CODE

 CHARLOTTE, N.C., Jan. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- For nearly four decades telephone numbers in North Carolina have been in one of two area codes. That pattern will soon change.
 On Nov. 14, North Carolina's local telephone companies will divide the current 919 area code to create a new 910 area code.
 The new code will affect all telephone subscribers in the current Greensboro, Fayetteville and Wilmington calling zones. The Raleigh and Rocky Mount calling zones will remain in 919.
 The 704 area code will not be affected.
 Clifton Metcalf, Southern Bell manager of public information, said the new code is needed because the 919 code is rapidly running out of unassigned NXX codes. These three-digit combinations designate local exchanges and are required for the creation of new telephone numbers. If all NXX codes are assigned, then no new exchanges could be created and consequently no new telephone numbers would be available.
 "During the past several years we have seen a phenomenal growth in telecommunications in North Carolina," Metcalf said. "Cellular service, FAX machines and pagers all need telephone numbers. When you add the recent growth in those areas to consistent access line gain, it is easy to see why we are running out of numbers.
 "We are in this situation as a result of the growth we have experienced in North Carolina," he said. "It is the kind of problem you do not mind having."
 The new code was assigned by Bellcore, the administrator of the North American Numbering Plan, following a request from the local telephone companies in North Carolina.
 "We had hoped to be assigned a new code that would be very different from 919 or 704," Metcalf said. "However, 910 was the only code available."
 Although telephone numbers in the new 910 area code will officially change at 2:00 a.m. on Nov. 14, Southern Bell will institute a three-month permissive dialing period. During this time callers may use either the old 919 or the new 910 code and still complete their call.
 Metcalf said the permissive dialing phase will give customers time to become accustomed to the new code and to complete reprogramming of speed calling features or FAX machines.
 "Any calls to a 910 number after 2:00 a.m. on Feb. 13, 1994, must use the correct area code," he said.
 Southern Bell will conduct an extensive campaign during the next several months to educate customers about the change, Metcalf said. He said the company was announcing the new code nearly a year before implementation to give customers plenty of time to prepare for the change.
 -0- 1/5/93
 /CONTACT: Clifton Metcalf, Southern Bell, 704-378-7261/


CO: Southern Bell ST: North Carolina IN: TLS SU:

SB-MM -- CH006 -- 1757 01/05/93 13:00 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 5, 1993
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