10-Digit Dialing Begins
As of Saturday, local telephone calls made within West Virginia must include 10 digits (area code plus seven digit telephone number). This change allows the implementation of a new area code, 681, to provide additional telephone numbers that are necessary to support residential growth, additional lines, and services in West Virginia. The new 681 area code will be available to serve new telephone customers after March 28.
It is important to remember that a local call will still be a local call regardless of the area code. After the new area code is assigned, your next door neighbor might have a different area code than you, however, if it is a local call to you now, it will remain the same after the switch.
The procedure for dialing long distance calls will not change. Continue to dial a one plus the appropriate area code, then the telephone number. Also, the way you dial special service numbers will not change. You can continue to dial only three digits to call 211, 411, 711, 811, and 911.
If you inadvertently use “1+area code+XXX+XXXX” for a local call, your call may go through but you will not be charged long distance rates; however, if you forget to use a one before the 10-digit number for a long distance call, you may receive a recording explaining the correct way to dial that number.
Customers should ensure that their automated dialing equipment, including life safety systems, fax machines, internet dial-up numbers, alarm and security systems, gates, speed dialers, call forwarding settings, voicemail services, and similar functions are programmed for 10-digit dialing.
Further information may be obtained by contacting the Public Service Commission at 1-800-344-5113 or accessing the Web site, www.psc.state.wv.us and clicking “10-Digit Dialing”.