Ten-digit dialing to begin soon

Published 6:50 pm Tuesday, August 17, 2021

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Starting Sept. 11, 2021, permissive 10-digit dialing will begin for Virginians living in the 757 area code region.

This is the first step in a February 2020 relief plan approved by the State Corporation Commission to phase in the new 948 area code. During the next six months, local calls can be made with either seven or 10 digits, and all calls that are local will continue to be local even though you dial 10 digits.

The 757 area code encompasses the vast majority of the Hampton Roads metropolitan area, including Williamsburg, Franklin and Suffolk in the west, and Virginia Beach, Norfolk and the Eastern Shore to the east.

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In the coming months, the inventory of available phone numbers with “757” as the area code is expected to run out. The SCC approved an overlay, which is the addition of another area code (948) to the same geographic region served by the existing 757. Beginning May 9, 2022, new telephone lines or services may be assigned numbers using the new 948 area code.

The good news: residents and businesses that already have phone numbers will get to keep them. No one’s 757 phone number will change.

Consumers should start practicing dialing phone numbers using all 10 digits because, beginning April 9, 2022, no local calls made in the 757 area code will be connected if seven digits are dialed.

You must use 10 digits (three-digit area code plus the seven-digit telephone number) as of April 9. One step people can do to prepare for the switch is to update their cell phone contacts now, so that phone numbers they call regularly already will have the area code attached.