Get ready to dial 10 digits with every call

Get ready to play the numbers game. The 541 Oregon area code now shares the territory with a new code, namely 458. It is called an overlay. And this means that every phone call, even to your next door neighbor, will require dialing the area code.

There will be a weaning period. While the change is optional, a training period if you will, reality will strike on Jan. 10 when you must dial 10 digits. Beginning Feb. 10, 2010, new telephone lines or services may be assigned the 458 area code.

Until January will be time to discover what items need to be reprogrammed. Some of those items will depend upon the kind of service you have. Equipment such as a PBX, electronic telephone sets, auto-dial systems, multi-line key systems will need to be reprogrammed or updated.

Some auto dial calls may also require reprogramming. These include: life safety systems, fax machines, Internet dial-up numbers, alarm and security systems, speed dial, call forwarding, voice mail and other similar functions.

CenturyLink, AT&T and others remind you also to check your Web sites, business stationary, advertising materials, personal checks, and any contact information.

Three digit numbers, such as 911 will remain the same. The price of a call, local and long-distance calling areas, and other rates and service will not change. Only the number of digits needed will change.

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