10 Digit Dialing

Oklahoma – Beginning March 5, 2011, customers within the 918 area code in the state of Oklahoma must dial ten-digits, that is, the Area Code + Telephone Number when making local calls.

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC), approved the addition of the 539 area code to the geographic region currently served by 918 to ensure a continuing supply of telephone numbers in the state- this is called an Area Code Overlay.

An overlay is the addition of another area code – in this case, 539 – to the same geographic region as an existing area code (918). An overlay does not require customers to change their existing area code or phone number. However, when two area codes serve the same region, rules of the Federal Communications Commission require callers to change the way they dial local calls. The new procedure requires callers to dial the area code and the seven-digit telephone number. This includes all calls that are currently dialed with just seven digits.

The most important things consumers and businesses need to know about the area code overlay are:

  • Customers’ existing phone numbers in the 918 area code will not change as a result of this overlay;
  • Beginning March 5, 2011, “mandatory” ten-digit local dialing begins and customers in the 918 area code must use the ten-digit dialing procedure for all local calls. As of this date, if they do not use the new dialing procedure, the calls will not be completed and a recording will instruct callers to hang up and dial again;
  • Phone numbers with the new 539 area code may be assigned in some areas as soon as April 1, 2011;
  • The price of a call, local and long-distance calling areas and other rates and services of your telecommunication provider will not change as a result of the Area Code Overlay. What is a local call now will remain a local call regardless of the number of digits dialed;
  • The dialing procedure for long distance or operator assisted calls will not change;
  • You will still dial three digits to reach 911. If 211, 311, 411, 511, 611, 711 and 811 are currently available in your community, or from your provider, you will still dial them with just three digits.

In addition to changing their dialing procedure, customers are encouraged to begin reprogramming their automatic dialing equipment and all other types of equipment that are currently programmed with only seven-digits. All such devices will need to be reprogrammed with ten-digits (area code + telephone number) prior to March 5, 2011.

Examples of programmed equipment and features include: PBX systems, electronic telephone sets, auto-dial systems, multi-line key systems, life safety systems, fax machines, internet dial-up numbers, alarm and security systems, gates, speed dialers, call forwarding settings, voicemail services, and similar functions.

Customers also are being urged to check with their security or alarm companies and the suppliers of their business phone systems as soon as possible to make sure their systems are programmed to handle the new dialing pattern.