CT to get another area code: Prepare to dial 959

A new area code will be introduced later this year in Connecticut, in the calling region currently served by the 860 area code. The 860 area code now serves almost all parts of the state other than Fairfield and New Haven counties.

Because of continuing local demand for telephone numbers, remaining unassigned telephone numbers in the 860 area code are expected to be exhausted by the end of 2014.

This change in area code is similar to the addition of the 475 area code in 2009. It didn’t begin to get rolled out into use until about a year ago. The 475 area code is an overlay to the 203 area code, which serves Fairfield and New Haven counties.

The state Connecticut’s Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) approved a new area code, 959, to be assigned as an overlay to the 860 region to meet the demand.

An overlay is the addition of an area code, in this case 959, to the same geographic region as an existing area code (860).

An overlay does not require customers to change their existing area code, personal telephone numbers, or the manner in which they dial local calls.

 

Should begin at end of August

PURA has been working since mid-2013 with an industry stakeholder group to oversee the orderly implementation of the new 959 area code.

Current plans call for the new 959 area code to go into effect Aug. 30, 2014. After that date, customers requesting new service, an additional line or, in some cases, moving their service may be assigned a number in the new 959 area code.

 

Minimal impact on most customers

For most customers, PURA officials said, the new area code should have minimal impact because:

— Εxisting telephone numbers, including current area code, will not change.

— Customers will continue to dial area-code-plus-telephone-number for local calls, and 1-plus-area-code-plus-telephone-number for long distance calls.

— Local calling areas will remain the same.

— Prices for calls and coverage areas will not change due to the overlay.

— Customers will still dial services such as 9-1-1 (as well as 2-1-1, 4-1-1, 8-1-1, etc.) with just three digits.

 

Transition issues

During and after the transition, customers should continue to identify their telephone number as a 10-digit number (area-code-plus-seven-digits), and include the area code when giving the number to friends, family, business associates and others.

Customers should also ensure that all services, automatic dialing equipment, and other types of equipment recognize 959 as a valid area code. Some examples are life safety systems, fax machines, Internet dial-up numbers, alarm and security systems, gates, speed dialers, mobile phone contact lists, call forwarding settings, voice-mail services, and similar functions.

Likewise, customers will be encouraged to check business stationery, advertising materials, personal checks, and personal or pet ID tags to ensure the area code is included in the stated telephone number.

 

Questions

Customers should contact their respective carriers with questions about the new area code, and can check PURA’s website (www.ct.gov/pura) for periodic updates.

 

 

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