HomeValley News – Is your phone contact list ready when the 603 area code becomes mandatory?

Valley News – Is your phone contact list ready when the 603 area code becomes mandatory?

By the end of the month, some phone calls will cover an unpleasant surprise, as New Hampshire has ended 74 years of contact with people in the state without using the 603 area code.

“People need to be aware, not blindly,” said Mark Doyle, director of the New Hampshire Department of Safety Division of Emergency Services and Communications. ‘S call cannot be completed as a dial. ”

As you may already know, thanks to a warning from your phone company, the state will begin “10-digit dialing” on October 28, using the 603 area code in front of all numbers. Although it won’t be mandatory until next July, there’s no easy way to know which calls need an area code and which don’t.

Thus, for all practical purposes, for the first time since October 24, 1947, when area codes were created, seven digits would no longer be sufficient.

This change is due to the rollout of “988” in July 2022 as a new national suicide hotline. Like the other three-digit emergency numbers, this will make it easier for people to reach for help.

Before this number can be implemented, however, something needs to be done about existing phone numbers starting with 988. Otherwise, the modified telephone network will be confused. In New Hampshire, this includes hundreds of Portsmouth phone numbers – so each call needs to start at 603.

Ten-digit dialing is also coming to other states that have the same area code – including Vermont, where Troy is 988. However, it does not fit into the mine because the state has never used 988 as a prefix to any number. Massachusetts, with numerous area codes, already has 10-digit dialing in most places, which will not change.

The need for an area code will be a nuisance for those of us who forget it when making a call or who didn’t go to the “Contacts” list on our phone and make sure 603 is beyond all New Hampshire numbers. Grows. This is a big problem for companies or organizations that have devices that make calls based on a database of numbers.

Verizon said in its announcement: “All services, automated dialing equipment, or other types of devices that are programmed to complete calls to 7-digit local numbers are required to complete calls to 10-digit numbers. Some examples are: life safety systems and medical monitoring devices, PBX, fax machines, Internet dial-up numbers, fire or burglar alarm systems, other security systems or gates, for example. Speed ​​dialer, mobile or other wireless phone contact lists, call forwarding settings, voicemail services, and other similar functions.

If left unmanaged, they can be left astray and lose the right path. The 911 system, for example, relies on a database that connects the hotline to local emergency services.

“We had to go in and rebuild the database that contained those phone numbers. We’ve already moved on and taken care of it,” Doyle said.

This is not a problem in the large-scale emergency alert system database across the state. It only connects to cell phones, which is why they use different networks, usually requiring area codes.

The telephone number dates back to 1879 in Lowell, Mass., When a measles epidemic wiped out the city’s manual switchboard staff, forcing a system that could be used by less trained operators.

Depending on the location, phone numbers were three, four or five digits until the 1930s when the seven-digit system was created, with a three-digit antecedent attached to a central office followed by a specific line. There are four digits associated with. Until the 1950s, the first part of the former was associated with the letters on the dial, so concord numbers such as 225-1234 can be remembered as capital 5-1234. The practice lasted until the 1970s.

Area codes were created in 1947 to allow interstate calling without operator assistance. New Hampshire 603 was one of the original 86 area codes. At the beginning of the millennium, there were fears that the state would soon need another area code due to development, but improvements in phone numbers – with changes in number distribution due to cell phones – meant the state at least Totally covers 603 for another decade.

(David Brooks can be reached at 369-3313 or [email protected] or Twitter at ranGraniteGeek.)


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