Ten digit dialing starts Saturday 

It’s the day you’ve been dreading. On Aug. 11, everyone who lives and works in the 604 area code will be asked to dial the area code before making a local call, sending a local fax, or dialling up the Internet.

If you just use the usual seven digits while making a local call, a recorded voice will tell you to dial all 10 digits next time and your call will be connected. After Nov. 3, 2001, you will no longer be asked, you will be told. Calls will not go through after that point unless you dial 10 digits.

Your fax and Internet dialup will have to use the 10-digit format on Aug. 11, however, and Telus is spreading the word to users to make the necessary adjustments before then.

Ten-digit dialling has become necessary to handle the growing demand for numbers, fuelled by the growing population within the 604 area code and the popularity of the Internet, fax machines, cell phones, pagers, and second lines.

By using 10-digit dialling to differentiate, customers in the 250 and 604 area codes will be able to have the same phone numbers.

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