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Getting used to 10-digit dialing

We’re sure there will be complaints next week when 10-digit dialing takes effect.

Starting April 3, local calls will require the 814 area code to be connected. The state Public Utilities Commission is asking people and businesses to ensure that devices such as medical alert systems, alarms and any other systems that automatically make calls are ready for the switch.

It will be a little bit of work, and it will take some getting used to, but in the end 10-digit dialing is a minor inconvenience for the modern conveniences many of us are accustomed to in 2021.

The 814 area code is the largest in the state geographically and the only one that hasn’t already received an additional area code overlay. We were overdue for 10-digit dialing. Now consider all the new uses for phone numbers that hadn’t been conceived of back in 1947 when the 814 area code was established as one of the state’s four original area codes. In 1947, there were no fax machines or cell phones. Now, families may account for as many as three or four phone numbers for one house. A big business could account for several available phone numbers simply for one building.

This time was coming. And, frankly, typing three additional numbers in order to make a call is more than worth the modern conveniences we use every day.

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