Ok, this is definitely not City of GP business but I saw it mentioned the other day and it caught me by surprise so you'll have to excuse me this one time. Now, maybe I'm the only person in the world that didn't know this was happening but it doesn't seem to me like there has been a whole lot of advertising or public service announcements.
As of September 8th, 2008 - you have to dial all ten digits of a phone number to make a call. That means even local calls (to the Golden Star to order take out for example) have to be dialled with the '780' area code first and then the rest of the number like you'd normally dial.
Making a Grande Prairie to Grande Prairie call? - add '780' .... how 'bout GP to Sexsmith? - add '780' and the same again for someone calling from Peace River to Peace River - add '780'
From the Telecommunications Alliance website:
"With the growing popularity of new communications services, the demand for new numbers will soon exceed the supply. The solution: two new area codes will be introduced - 778 in BC and 587 in Alberta. These new codes will enable the creation of millions of telephone numbers. The new codes will be assigned to new numbers only; existing numbers will remain unchanged.
The new area codes will coexist with the current codes, and will cover the same geographic area. New area codes can only be introduced once 10-digit local dialing has been implemented. The same telephone number can then exist in each of the area codes."
All the information Northern Alberta residents need to know can be found here.
There will be a grace period starting June 23rd where you will be reminded to add the area code if you forgot to dial it. Then on the 8th it's official, no call goes through with out it.
Ok, now think about this: how many speed-dial numbers do you have set up in your cell phone or on your office phone .... are they all programmed with '780' at the start? If you're like me chances are most don't and (like me) you need to spend a little time doing some updates.
While you're at it mention this to someone else to save them a little aggravation when the time comes. ... I'm off to reprogram my Blackberry.