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MICHIGAN BELL ANNOUNCES NEW AREA CODE

 MICHIGAN BELL ANNOUNCES NEW AREA CODE
 DETROIT, July 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Michigan will have its first new


area code since codes were originally assigned in the mid-1940s. The new code -- 810 -- becomes effective Aug. 10, 1994.
 Michigan Bell this week accepted the recommendations of a special advisory committee appointed by local government leaders last fall to decide how best to add the new area code.
 The panel's plan assigns Oakland, Macomb, Genesee, Lapeer, St. Clair and Sanilac counties to the new 810 area code. Small sections of Saginaw, Shiawassee and Livingston counties in the current 313 area also will become part of the 810 area code. The smaller, redrawn 313 area code will include Wayne, Washtenaw and Monroe counties, as well as small sections of Jackson and Lenawee counties.
 The new area code will have no effect on telephone rates, said Jack Sawka, Michigan Bell vice president of market and business development. "What is a local call before the change will be a local call after the change," he said.
 The additional area code is needed because southeastern Michigan is running out of numbers. "The increasing popularity of fax machines, cellular phones, pagers and computers has used up telephone numbers at a rapid pace over the past few years," Sawka said.
 Establishing the new 810 area code will create more than 3 million telephone numbers in southeastern Michigan. The new supply of numbers will meet the area's growth needs for about the next 20 years.
 Sawka said it's the first time in the nation that a public advisory committee was given the task of determining how a new area code should be formed.
 Joe O'Connor, chairman of the public advisory panel and president of Consumer Market Analysts of Birmingham, said the plan reflects the input of those who participated in the public process.
 "We went to great lengths to make sure we heard from everyone who wanted to be heard," O'Connor said. "We talked to thousands of people to find out what they needed, what they preferred -- and what they most objected to."
 That effort included a dozen town meetings, preference surveys, and a special "800" telephone line to gather information on public concerns.
 The advisory panel initially examined three plans and chose the one that best met the criteria established by Bellcore -- the agency responsible for administering the area code plan for North America.
 The committee looked at whether plans were technically feasible, accommodated long-term growth, and offered easily recognizable boundaries.
 O'Connor said only one plan "made sense from the standpoint of ease of recognition."
 Nationwide, some 25 other metropolitan regions -- including New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco -- have added area codes in recent
years. Officials from these ares have stressed the need for extensive public education.
 "We'll be talking plenty about it over the next two years to make sure everybody is familiar with it and ready for it when it takes effect," said Sawka.
 Company plans still in development call for print and broadcast publicity, as well as mailings to customers' homes and businesses to announce the new area code. The new area code also will receive broad national and international publicity.
 Customers with questions about the new area code may call toll-free 1-800-831-8989 for additional information.
 -0- 7/14/92
 /CONTACT: Phil Jones, 313-223-7194, Dave Ellis, 313-223-7192, or Dean Hovey, 313-223-7197, all of Michigan Bell/ CO: Michigan Bell ST: Michigan IN: TLS SU:


KR -- DE008 -- 9003 07/14/92 10:08 EDT
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Date:Jul 14, 1992
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