Get ready now for 10-digit dialing

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Beginning Aug. 23, 10-digit local dialing — the area code followed by the seven-digit phone number — will be introduced in Prince Edward Island.

Special numbers like 9-1-1 will still be dialed using three digits — no area code will be required.

Between Aug. 23 and Nov. 16, there will be a three-month transition period during which communications using only seven digits will be connected, but only after a network announcement prompts callers to dial all 10 digits the next time.

To avoid any inconveniences that may be caused by this message, the Telecommunications Alliance, a group of major telecommunications companies operating in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, is inviting the population to get ready and adopt 10-digit dialing right away.

“If they have not already done so, residents and businesses are urged to add the 902 area code to programmed numbers in all of their communications devices and equipment including wireline and wireless phones, auto dialers, computers, alarm systems and lifeline equipment,” said Glen Brown, spokesperson for the Canadian Numbering Administrator which is the organization responsible for the administration of Canada’s telephone numbers.

“They should also include their 10-digit phone numbers on stationary, cheques, advertising, and update their employee, client, supplier, and other databases before Aug. 23, 2014. The goal of our communications efforts is to ensure that everyone is prepared ahead of time”



Organizations: Telecommunications Alliance

Geographic location: Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Canada

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Recent comments

  • Peter
    July 05, 2014 - 08:57

    The problem isn't so much how many numbers are available or how many are used .. it's a matter of duplication... especially with so many cell phones. For example, if I call my home from Dartmouth, with my cell (home has 455 prefix in Halifax), it's a local call. If I happen to be in Fredericton, NB, there is also a 455 prefix ... so someone in F'Ton has the exact same number as me. With land-lines, this isn't a big deal, but with cells and roaming, yes... it becomes a real big deal.

  • Sue
    July 03, 2014 - 06:48

    New Brunswick has 506, NS & PEI use 902 together.Since we have the the smallest population,wouldn't it be easier just to to leave Nova Scotia at 902 and give PEI it's own area code?

  • Mark Cheverie
    June 30, 2014 - 15:47

    Actually Richard, 10,000,000 is right. If you start at 000-0000 and go to 999-9999 ... or 10^7 = 10,000,000. I undertstand where you're coming from, with adding in businesses, multiple lines, cellphones,faxes etc.. There is more then enough numbers to go around. The issue is the 902 area code being used for all Atlantic provinces that is fucking up routing, especially with cellphones. In all honesty who cares... except the old and ones without cellphones. I always add 1-902 in front every number I enter in my cell, I rarely call anyone and when I do it will be only 1 click away.

    • therod
      July 04, 2014 - 08:36

      Actually, Richard is technically right. There are a number of prefixes that cannot be used. Can't start with 0 (there goes 999,999 possibile combinations) 311, 411, 511, 611, 911...etc.

  • mike
    June 30, 2014 - 12:42

    The question is why. There is no point to this. If its because 902 is used in another part of canada then change pei to a different code. But I still dont see why this has to be done. since there is 10 million numbers that can be used. Why would we use the 10 digit and not stay with the 7. Who made this choice and what is the reason for this change

    • Richard MacDonald
      June 30, 2014 - 15:02

      10 million? where do you get that from? if its a 7 digit number there cannot be 10 million combinations. don't forget the 3 number perfix at the beginning there are only so many of those. they cannot just start at 000-0000 and goto 999-9999 thats not how phone numbers work. There is also the point that plenty of places have more then one number. every goverment office has a number(followed by extentions for each individual) Then all the privately owned businesses that have more then one number, then all the indivduals that have more then one number. Then add cell phones on top of that. Then those that still uses fax machines. automated local info lines. Take into account that some systems out there now require a 10 digit number to be used. The list of reasons goes on. Eventually we will go to two area codes for NS and PEI...thats the first reason for this step to 10 digit dialing. Its also easier to change the phone system to only accept 10 digit dialing....then to go into a system and change everyones area code for a particular province. After a certain point all brand new numbers will be given a new area code. Not sure when we can expect that but we will be getting two area codes down the road..end game that is the main reason to goto 10 digits...because we are running out of 7 digit numbers that are usable. Hope that answers your question

    • Dana Dennis
      July 07, 2014 - 09:36

      Richard's comment is pretty much spot on but I would like to add that another reason the 7 digit number doesn't provide 10 million possible numbers is due to historical reasons. In the past the first three numbers referred to the exchange which generally covered a geographic area... think of the operator years ago who actually routed calls manually. So if a community had its own exchange it in theory could have up to 10000 lines but if a community only had a demand for 100 lines the other 9900 were wasted and couldn't be reused in other areas of the province. Technically the above isn't necessary anymore but can you imagine the outcry if the operating company starting merging exchanges throughout the island.