SCRANTON, Pa., April 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Callers in the 570 area code in northeastern Pennsylvania, including Scranton, Williamsport and Wilkes-Barre, should now start dialing 10 digits (area code and the seven-digit telephone number) to complete their local phone calls.
The new way of dialing is necessary to prepare the region's telephone customers for mandatory 10-digit dialing, starting in September. The change paves the way for the October introduction of northeastern Pennsylvania's newest area code – 272. Called an "overlay," the new code will serve the same geographic boundary as the current 570 area code. The overlay will eliminate the need to split the existing area code into smaller areas.
"An overlay minimizes disruption for our customers because their telephone numbers, including their current area code, will not change," said Carl E. Erhart, Verizon area vice president. "But it's important for customers to get into the habit of always dialing the 10-digit number when they make calls within the 570 area code."
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission approved the implementation of the area code overlay in July 2010, following a recommendation from the North American Numbering Plan Administrator, a neutral third party that is responsible for the day-to-day administration, assignment and management of area codes in the United States. Verizon, along with other telecommunications providers in the area, have been following the commission's direction to prepare for the overlay. The NANPA selected 272 as the new area code number for the area currently serviced by the 570 area code.During the six-month permissive dialing period, affected customers can dial either seven or 10 digits to complete their calls. Starting Sept. 21, ten-digit dialing will be required for all telephone calls made in the 570 area code. If callers forget to dial 10 digits, they will hear a message instructing them to dial both the area code and seven-digit telephone number. Even with the dialing change, local calls will still remain local calls. However, customers will need to reprogram any automatic dialing equipment or services that are programmed to dial a seven-digit number. This includes life safety systems, fax machines, Internet dial-up modems, alarm and security systems, gates, speed dialers, call forwarding settings and voice mail services.