Albertans had better start exercising their fingers because they will soon have to dial ten digits to make a local call.
Ten-digit dialingmeans adding the area codeeven when making local calls. The province is also getting a new area code— 587.
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission announced the changes Thursday. The federal agencywarned thatAlberta will run out of telephone numbers in the 403 and 780 area codes by 2009.
Ten-digit dialing will be mandatory inSeptember 2008, the same month the new area code kicks in. People who need a new telephone number will likelybe assigned the newarea code.
Ten-digit dialing is part of a North American trend. Phone services have already changed in Toronto, Ottawaand Vancouver.
Shawn Hall, a spokesman for Telus, said Alberta's growing population and the increased use of wireless devices are to blame."If nothing is done, sometime next year communities are going to start running out of phone numbers," he said.