GORDON — Big changes are coming for something most of us do at least a dozen times a day say: you can say so long to seven-digit phone numbers. Come this fall you’ll have to dial the area code even when making a local call.
Starting in September, folks in most of northeastern and central Pennsylvania will have to dial ten digits even if they are just calling next door.
It wasn’t so long ago most households just had one phone, but now there are cell phones and computers and faxes, so the 570 is running out of 570s. Now get ready to meet 272.
A new iPhone is already giving Roberta Richards of Schuylkill County fits. Now she and everyone else in 570 have until September 21 to get ready for a big change: dialing ten digits, including the area code, even when making a local call.
The area code, 272, many new phone lines in our area will be assigned means neighbors may have one less thing in common.
“If that’s what you have to do to get through, that’s what you have to do pretty much,” said Darlene Robbins of Frackville.
“You have to dial an area code to call your neighbor? I don’t want to have to do an area code. They’re my neighbor,” said Nina Douglas.
At the Dutch Kitchen in Frackville, customers enjoy the ambiance of an earlier era, but say they’re not hungry to dial more Numbers
“It doesn’t make sense to me. Cell phones, you have to use area codes. You shouldn’t have to on your home phone.”
Changing times means changing signs. Businesses will have to add area codes everywhere their phone numbers appear.
Next year if you want to call Joe C. to get some kielbasa you will have to dial a few more digits.
Joe Conapinski coordinates the sale of more than 1,000 pounds of prized sausage at the outdoorsman’s club near Frackville. He says it’s hard to digest the thought of adding all those new numbers to his paperwork.
“No 570s on here, so if I call these numbers, down the road I might not get them because they have a 272 number,” said Conapinski.
Not everyone sees the change as completely negative.
“If it’s necessary, why, it’s necessary.”
Of course, if you are over 25, you probably remember 717 so someday we will probably be reminiscing about the good old days when we only had two area codes to contend with.