By The Associated Press
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Starting next week, central Alabama telephone users in the 205 area code must dial those three digits along with the seven-digit telephone number when making a local call.
Beginning Oct. 12, callers who forget to use the new procedure will receive a recorded message instructing them to hang up and dial again with the area code. Dialers are currently under a transition period that started in April and allowed calls without the area code to complete.
The change is the result of Alabama adding an area code – 659 – to allow for a continuing supply of new numbers, Al.com reported .
The addition of 659 will not require customers to change their existing area codes. It will be assigned to some new telephone numbers and services starting Nov. 12. Once that happens, users will have to dial the seven-digit number plus 659 to complete their call.
The 205 area code generally covers the western central portion of the state, including such communities as Birmingham, Clanton, Hamilton, Jasper, Pell City and Tuscaloosa. That same area will also be served by 659.
Calls to 911, 311 or other three-digit numbers will not be affected by the change but some fax machines, life-safety machines that auto dial, call forward settings and security systems may need to upgrade.
Businesses are also advised to check with stationery and advertising materials to ensure the area code is included on those products.