All adjustments need to be completed before Aug. 17, 2018.
Residents will need 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) in advance of a new area code, 879, in November 2018, as the 709 area code reaches capacity.
The new area code has the potential to create millions of new phone numbers.
The ever-growing use of communications services is driving the increase in demand for phone numbers in the region which means 10-digit local dialing will be required for all wireline and wireless local calls, says the alliance, a group of major Canadian telecommunications companies.
“Most 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 Newfoundland and Labrador,” Glen Brown, director of the Canadian Numbering Administrator, said in a news release.
“In order to ensure a successful transition, we recommend that people start reprogramming their equipment for 10-digit local dialing now, as telecommunications companies are already able to support 10-digit dialed calls. By adopting 10-digit dialing early, residents and businesses will be well-prepared by August 2018.”
Residents will need to add the 709 area code to programmed numbers in all of their communications devices and equipment (including phones, auto dialers, fax machines, computers and lifeline equipment) and verify that their alarm systems are compatible with local 10-digit dialing, the alliance said.
Companies that use numerous communications systems and devices should update their equipment, the alliance noted. Additional information is available on the Telecommunications Alliance website at dial10.ca.
The 879 area code will coexist with the current 709 area code and will cover the same geographic area. Customers with telephone numbers that include the 709 area code will retain their numbers.
Numbers with the new 879 area code will only be assigned to customers when the existing inventory of 709 numbers is depleted, the alliance said.
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 – is necessary in order for local calls to be connected and reach their destinations.
Starting on Nov. 24, 2018, a new area code – 367 – will be introduced in the eastern part of Québec now served by the 418 and 581 area codes. Other new area codes will also be introduced in the upcoming months in New Brunswick and British Columbia.
The Telecommunications Alliance's members include Bell, Rogers and TELUS.