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The Madison Record

256 now required for even local calls, new area code in place

Even local calls now require dialing 256 before the seven-digit phone number.
Get ready for your fingers to do a little more walking on your telephone.
Starting June 5, people in North Alabama will have to dial the area code and phone number – a process known as 10-digit dialing – whenever they make a call, even if the call is made within the same area code.
On the heels of this change, new telephone lines or services will be assigned a 938 area code starting July 10.
The 10-digit dialing is necessitated by the addition of the 938 area code, which is being added to the 256 area code.
Since two area codes will now serve the same geographic region, the area code must be included when dialing any area code.
If you forget to dial the area code, you will receive a recorded message to hang up and try again.
The change will effect more than just phones, too. Some fax machines, safety systems, speed dialers, mobile phone contact lists, call forward settings, voicemail services, etc. will have to be changed. Users are also advised to check business stationary, advertising material, personal checks and pet identification to make sure it includes the correct area code.
Customers’ telephone numbers will not change, nor will the price of a call, coverage area or other rate and services. If it’s a local call now, it will still be considered a local call.
911 calls will not require an area code.

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