Public Utility Commission Encourages Oregonians to Get Early Start on Ten-digit Dialing in 541/458 Area Code
July 9, 2009 (2009-011)
Contacts: Lee Beyer, Chairman, 503 378-6611; Ray Baum, Commissioner, 503 378-6611; John Savage, Commissioner, 503 378-6611; Bob Valdez, Public Affairs Specialist, 503 378-8962
Salem, OR. You can get a jump on the changes that come with Oregon’s newest area code. Beginning July 12, 2009 you may start dialing 10 digits in the 541/458 area code for local telephone calls. If you choose to continue dialing just 7-digits, your call will still be completed.
“If you begin dialing ten digits now you’ll be ahead of the game when it becomes mandatory early next year,” Commission Chairman Lee Beyer said. “Starting now will ensure you don’t have problems six months from now.”
The new area code, 458, will provide additional telephone numbers that are necessary to support the growth in the number of Oregon residents, telecommunications service providers, telecommunications products, and additional lines. The new 458 area code will cover the same geographic area as the existing 541 area code. This is known as an overlay. The 541 area code generally covers all of the state except the Portland area.
So, when will customers be required to use this new dialing arrangement?
Permissive 10-digit dialing begins July 12, 2009 and ends January 10, 2010. During permissive dialing, calls dialed with either 7 or 10 digits will go through.
Mandatory 10-digit dialing begins January 10, 2010. Starting on this date, calls dialed with 7 digits will not go through. The caller will get a recorded announcement instructing them to hang up and dial their call with 10 digits.
What will not change as a result of the new area code?
Customers with existing 541 area code telephone numbers will have no change to their area code or telephone number.
Local calling areas will remain the same; the price of a call, coverage area, or other rates and services will not change. In other words, if it is presently a local call, it will continue to be a local call without any toll charges.
Customers can still dial just three digits to reach 911 and 411. If available, customers can still dial 211, 311, 511, 611, 711 and 811.
What should I do to ensure that my home telephone service continues to operate smoothly?
If necessary, reprogram equipment such as automatic-dialers, fax machines, and computer modems before mandatory dialing begins.
Be sure everyone in your household is aware that 10-digit dialing for all local calls will be required.
What should I do to ensure that my business telephone service continues to operate smoothly?
All businesses in Oregon should verify that their telephone equipment is capable of completing calls to the new 458 area code. Some telephone equipment used by businesses will not recognize the new area code until their equipment has been reprogrammed or upgraded.
Businesses may need to reprogram or upgrade their equipment if they use specialized communications equipment such as a PBX, electronic telephone sets, auto-dial systems, or multi-line key systems.
Beginning February 10, 2010, new telephone lines or services may be assigned numbers with the 458 area code.
Who should I contact if I have any other questions?
Customers should visit the Oregon Public Utility Commission website for more information and updated information regarding the new 458 area code. At this time, if customers have any further questions, they should contact the Oregon Public Utility Commission at: 1 (800) 522-2404.
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