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Dialing seven-digit phone numbers soon will be a thing of the past. At the end of this month, people on campus will have to dial the area code and the phone number – even when making local calls.

Prompting the change is the addition of a soon-to-be-established 984 area code to accommodate all new phone numbers being assigned in the 12 North Carolina counties that have the 919 area code.

The 984 area code will become active March 31 and supplement the existing 919 area code. Customers with 919 area codes will not have to change their phone numbers; only newly assigned numbers will receive 984 area codes. Phone numbers with both area codes will be considered local calls.

The change means that people will be required to dial the area code and telephone number, though, even when dialing next door. Ten-digit dialing to local numbers will not incur long-distance charges.

People who make long-distance calls from landlines will dial a “1” followed by the area code and phone number, as they do now.

Beginning April 30, new telephone lines or services in the current 919 footprint may be assigned numbers with the new 984 area code.

On campus, any programmed telephone systems or other equipment currently set for seven-digit phone numbers should be re-programmed to accommodate the new 10-digit local dialing, said Cheri Beasley, customer support manager for ITS Communication Technologies.