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Ten-digit dialing set to begin next week

For people who let their fingers do the talking, that dialing finger may be a little more tired starting next week.

In the 706 area code, 10-digit dialing will begin April 3, meaning that all phone calls will include the area code. That move is thanks to a population boom in Georgia coupled with the increase in cell phone usage which used up all the available numbers within the area code.

According to a press release from BellSouth, there are several steps that phone users need to take before they are required to dial the area code along with the regular number.

First, reprogram the speed dial and preset phone numbers in all land line and mobile phones, computers, fax machines, call block and call forwarding functions. Also, check with security system providers to make sure the auto-dialing features are updated to include the area code.

BellSouth advises everyone to have their checks, stationary, business cards and signs reprinted if the area code does not appear on them already. Businesses should also make sure to update their credit card processing machines.

The press release states that "there will be no change in your existing rates, calling areas, plans or telephone number." New numbers in the overlapping 762 area code will be issued starting May 16.

Web posted on Thursday, March 30, 2006

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