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Refiguring phone numbers.

Telephone companies are running out of numbers. Now Bellcore, which conducts research for nine regional phone companies, has proposed broadening area-code possibilities and suggests that within the next 30 years everyone will have to dial 10 digits (the area code plus the number) when making calls, even local ones. Since 1947, the area code's middle number has had to be 0 or 1, which told the switching system that the dialer was making a long-distance call. But now just two of the 144 possible combinations of numbers remain. Putting 2 through 9 in that position creates 640 more combinations, according to Bellcore's Fred Gaechter. Bellcore, of Livingston, N.J., seeks comment through April 30 on the new plan, which covers the United States, Canada and 16 Caribbean countries.
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Title Annotation:Bellcore research
Publication:Science News
Date:Mar 14, 1992
Words:128
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