FAQ

Who is responsible for the introduction of 10-digit dialing and new area code in Newfoundland and Labrador? + -

  • These measures are the result of a decision by the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). Local telecommunications companies are responsible for implementing the changes.

What is 10-digit local dialing? + -

  • 10-digit local dialing means that the caller must dial the area code (three digits) followed by the phone number (seven digits) for all local communications.

What regions are affected by 10-digit local dialing? + -

  • The regions covered by area code 709 in Newfoundland and Labrador will adopt 10-digit dialing for all local calls. This dialing method is already used in several major Canadian cities.

When should residents and businesses start using the area code in local calls in the 709 region? + -

  • Telephone service providers are currently able to support 10-digit local dialing. Business and residential customers will need to adopt 10-digit dialing before August 17, 2018.

What will happen if residents and businesses dial a seven-digit number after this date? + -

  • A network announcement will remind them to use 10-digit dialing the next time. Because this message may disrupt data transmission (faxes, Internet, etc.), it reinforces the importance of quickly adopting 10-digit dialing.

    Starting November 10, 2018, all local calls will have to be preceded by the area code, otherwise they will not be connected.

Why must 10-digit dialing be used for local calls? + -

  • This dialing method will pave the way for the introduction of a new area code, which will then create millions of new numbers. 10-digit dialing is becoming mandatory for local communications because it allows the same telephone number to exist in both the current and the new area codes.

What is the new area code? + -

  • The 879 code will be introduced in the region now served by 709 in Newfoundland and Labrador.

When will the new area code be introduced? + -

  • Gradually, starting on November 24, 2018, depending on demand.

Will all new numbers after this date have the new area code? + -

  • No. Numbers will continue to be assigned with area code 709 until there are none left.

When will it be possible for companies to reserve new numbers in area code 879? + -

  • The Canadian Numbering Administrator (CNA) will assign blocks of numbers in a specific exchange (first 3 digits of the telephone number) in the new area code 879 generally when all blocks of numbers in the 709 area code have run out. Before getting new blocks of numbers, telecommunications carriers must certify that they have a need for additional numbering resources. Numbers in the new 879 area code only become available for reservation to customers after they have been assigned to telecommunications carriers. For additional information on assignment of Central Office Codes see the Canadian Numbering Administration web site at: http://cnac.ca/co_codes/co_code_guideline.htm

What should a company do if it wishes to add new phone lines? + -

  • Companies should contact their telecommunications provider.

What is the “overlay method”? + -

  • The overlay method simply involves adding a new code to the geographic region served by an existing area code. The two codes then co-exist, providing for a substantial increase in available telephone numbers in the region without affecting existing numbers.

Why was the decision made to use the overlay method instead of the geographic split, as was done previously in some regions? + -

  • Telecommunications industry members and government agencies judged the overlay method to be more practical and appropriate as it has the least impact to existing customers.

Isn’t it more complicated to have two area codes covering the same region? + -

  • It’s probably easier to think of it like this: your phone number now has 10 digits instead of 7: the area code + 123-4567. This approach has the advantage of having no impact on existing phone numbers.

Are we the first to overlay an area code to deal with a shortage of phone numbers? + -

  • No. In 2000, Toronto became the first city in Canada to adopt the overlay method, followed by Vancouver in 2001. More recently, this method was also chosen for several other regions in Canada.

Will there soon be a shortage of numbers in other area codes? + -

  • Yes. Other area codes will reach capacity in the upcoming months. This will be the case for the regions served by area codes 418 and 581 in the Québec.

Will local calling areas remain the same? + -

  • Yes. Introducing a new area code does not affect local calling areas in any way.

How should a telephone number be written? + -

  • When written or printed, the 10-digit telephone number should be visually separated by dashes, spaces or periods in accordance with international standards (e.g., 709 123-4567 or 709-123-4567). The area code should not appear in parentheses since this may lead the caller to believe the area code is optional.

Can people continue to dial 9-1-1 in case of emergency? + -

  • Yes. The 9-1-1 emergency number, where available, will not change in any way and will still require only three digits.

If someone accidentally dials “1” before the 10-digit phone number when making a local call, will long-distance charges apply? + -

  • No. The call will be recognized as a local call, and the caller will hear a network announcement to that effect before the call is connected.

Will long-distance calls be affected? + -

  • Long-distance calls will continue to be made in the same manner. Simply enter “1” followed by the 10-digit number.

Will current phone numbers change? + -

  • No. Your current phone number will not change.

In Newfoundland and Labrador

709 + 879