Accompanying the global increase in computer lines, fax machines and cell phones came a rising demand for new telephone numbers. To accommodate this growth, all callers in the 706 area code region-including UGA-will be required to use 10-digit dialing to place local calls starting next month.
“It was determined that we are going to run out of telephone numbers in this area.,” says Judy Howell, manager of UGA’s telephone services. “Beginning April 3, we will have to dial 10 digits from anywhere in the area code.”
An exception: The five-digit dialing system within the university will remain unchanged for on-campus calls, according to Howell.
“For example, you will still dial 2-1111 for telephone number 542-1111,” she says.
The change comes because a new area code is being implemented over northeast Georgia. Phone companies began doling out new numbers using 762 as the area code earlier this month.
“People who have the 706 area code in northeast Georgia will be able to keep their phone numbers,” says Howell. “The good thing about it is that the new area code will just be an overlay, and it will not cause a lot of disruption.”
The UGA campus telephone system already has been programmed to accept the 10-digit dialing change, but home phones need attention too, according to Howell.
Programmed numbers on speed dials need to be converted to 10-digits to keep working after the switch.
“Program your phones and get into the mentality of the 10-digit dialing requirement. The one thing that I would stress the most is to go ahead and start using the new area code now,” she says.
Officials expect the new area code to last 13 years before a new one is needed to keep up with population growth.