The Triangle is growing in size, and its phone numbers are following suit.
As of Saturday, residents must dial a 919 area code to reach local numbers.
The change comes after the North Carolina Utilities Commission approved the addition of a new 984 area code to accommodate growth in the Triangle and surrounding communities.
Though the new area code will not be assigned to those seeking numbers until after April 30, the new dialing requirement is the first part of the transition.
Existing numbers will remain the same, according to a North Carolina Utilities Commission press release.
The county published this information on its website, and some local Verizon Wireless users were aware of the changes because the service provider sent out texts during the past weeks.
“I got a text message from Verizon yesterday,” said Patrick Clare, a senior psychology major and Raleigh native. “They sent another text about it a week or so ago, too.”
But many Chapel Hill residents and students were unaware of the changes.
“I didn’t know about it, and I assume no one in my family knows either,” said Julia Ganzi, a sophomore global studies major and resident of Chapel Hill. “Most of the numbers in my phone are already programmed in my phone with area codes in them, so it doesn’t really affect me.”
Clare also said he doubted the area code changes would affect his ability to make calls or get in touch with friends.
“I’ve always put 919 before numbers when adding people to my contacts anyway, because I have so many people in my phone from different areas,” he said
Most local businesses said that the addition of the 984 area code and the need to dial ten digits will have little to no effect on their ability to operate and attract customers.
Niki Wagstaff, UNC Calling Center manager, said the change will have little impact on the call center’s operations.
“This will have very minimal impact on us because the way our system is set up,” Wagstaff said. “It actually already dials the area code even if it is a local number.”
Steve Torchio, Top of the Hill floor manager, agreed.
“I would think that it’s not going to have a large effect,” Torchio said. “It may, just because of people that don’t realize about the change, take them a little longer to get in touch with us, but I don’t think it will cause a large problem.”
But Jimmy John’s employee Blake Wentley said it would only slow him down slightly.
“It’s one of those things where it really just comes down to being an annoyance.”
And according to the City of Raleigh website, local 911 call centers expect increased phone traffic because of the change.
The site states that the similarity between 919 and 911 will “inevitably result in misdials.”
Contact the City Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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