Mandatory ten-digit dialing takes effect October 12, 2019 in Alabama’s 205 area code
TDS Telecom alerts residents and businesses in west-central Alabama to coming change
Beginning on Oct. 12, 2019, mandatory ten-digit dialing—area code + telephone number—takes effect in the 205 area code and will impact residents and businesses in west-central Alabama. The change, which requires 10-digit dialing for all local calls, will impact TDS Telecom (TDS®) customers in areas around Butler, Lisman, Needham, Pennington, Flatwood, Lynn, Nauvoo, and Oakman.
Known as an “Area Code Overlay,” the addition of the new 659 area code was approved by the Alabama Public Service Commission (APSC). The overlay ensures an ongoing supply of telephone numbers throughout the area. Beginning on October 12, 2019, everyone with a 205 area code will be required to dial ten digits (area code + telephone number).
An Area Code Overlay occurs when two area codes serve the same region. In these instances, the Federal Communications Commission requires callers to change the way they dial local calls. While customers do not have to change their existing area code or phone number, they are required to ten-digit dial all local calls (area code and seven-digit telephone number).
What residents and businesses need to know about the area code overlay:
- Existing phone numbers with 256, 938, 334, and 251 area codes will not change.
- The price for calls, local and long-distance calling areas, and other rates and services provided by TDS will not change due to the new Area Code Overlay. What’s a local call now remains a local call, regardless of the number of digits dialed.
- The dialing procedure for long distance or operator assisted calls will not change.
- 911 remains a three-digit dial. If 211, 311, 411, 511, 611, 711 and 811 are available currently, they will remain a three-digit dial.
Dates to keep in mind:
- October 12, 2019: Mandatory ten-digit local dialing begins. Customers in the 205 area code must use ten-digit dialing for all local calls, otherwise, calls will not be completed and a recording will instruct callers to hang up and dial again.
- November 12, 2019: Phone numbers with the new 659 area code may begin to be assigned.
In addition to changing dialing procedures, customers must reprogram automatic dialing equipment and other devices programmed with seven digits. This includes life-alert safety systems, PBX systems, fax machines, internet dial-up numbers, alarm and security systems, gates, speed dialers, call forwarding settings, and voicemail services.
Residents and businesses should also check with security or alarm companies to make sure their systems are programmed to handle the new dialing pattern.