A second area code has been designated for the 336 area code region, which includes northwest North Carolina and the tri-county area, and while 10-digit dialing is only optional now, it will become mandatory when making phone calls in April 2016.
The North Carolina Utilities Commission made the announcement about the new overlay last week, with 743 being added to the 336 area codes for Ashe, Alleghany, Wilkes, Surry, Yadkin, Stokes, Forsyth, Davie, Davidson, Rockingham, Guilford, Randolph, Caswell, Person and Alamance counties. Two other area code regions of the state’s six regions already have two area codes in use.
The optional use of dialing with 10-digits — the area code and the seven-digit phone number — began Saturday, but on April 23, 2016, it will become mandatory for all local calls to be placed using a 10-digit telephone number. Assignment of the new 743 area code will begin May 23, 2016, when customers in the 336 region requesting new service, adding an additional line or in some cases moving their service, could be assigned new numbers using either 336 or 743 area codes.
Yadtel explained in a news release on the change, the new area code was ordered by the state utilities commission “to ensure a continuing supply of telephone numbers.”
Yadtel is advising their customers to ensure all services, automatic dialing equipment, applications, software, and other programs dialing out, recognize the new 743 area code as valid. Some examples are life safety systems, fax machines, alarm and security systems, gates, speed dialers, mobile phone contact lists, call forwarding settings, voicemail services and similar functions.
Also, in the release, Yadtel said it is asking customers to check business stationary, website, advertising materials, personal checks and personal and pet ID tags to be certain the area code is included.
The state commission encouraged those in the area affected to begin giving out phone numbers including the area code to friends, family, business contacts and customers. While local calls can be made with the 10-digit phone number, all long distance calls should begin with 1, then the area code and phone number.
Facts about the new area code provided by the state utilities commission include:
• A person’s telephone number, including current area code, will not change, but may if service is moved.
• People will need to dial the area code + 7-digit local telephone number for all local calls.
• For billing purposes, what is a local call now will remain a local call regardless of the number of digits dialed.
• People will continue to dial 1 + area code + 7-digit local telephone number for all long distance calls.
• The price of a call, coverage area, or other rates and services will not change due to the overlay.
• People can still dial just three digits to reach 911.
• If 211, 311, 411, 511, 611, 711 or 811 are available in a community, people affected will still dial those codes with just three digits.
For more information, visit a service provider’s website or the North Carolina Utilities Commission’s website at www.ncuc.net.