For most of our lives, we've been able to jump on the phone, dial 7 digits and reach the person we were hoping to call.  That will be changing this month.

We are about to start getting a bunch of "wrong number" calls.  If you're hoping to make a phone call after October 24th, you're going to have to have the area code to complete your call.  We are moving to 10 digit dialing.

What does that mean?

Ten digit dialing simply means you will have to enter both the three-digit area code and the seven-digit telephone number to complete the call, even if the area code is the same area code as your own.  So for example, in the Buffalo area we will have to enter 716 then the 7 digit number.  In the Rochester area we will have to enter 518 then the 7 digit number.

Why are we changing now?

According to the FCC, "there are more phones in America than there are people, and each phone needs its own phone number.  To accommodate the growing need for more phone numbers, some areas began to add a second area code for local calls. Dialing both the area code and the seven-digit number was necessary to ensure the call reached the intended recipient. As more area codes begin to run out of new seven-digit numbers to assign, a second local area code may be added, requiring that area to transition to ten-digit dialing."

What do I need to do to make it easier on me?

Make sure that your contacts all have the area codes entered in the information cards of your phone. There aren't a lot of people who remember people's numbers anyway these days.  So if you have the number saved correctly in your phone, you'll still be able to dial by contact name.

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