The introduction of 10-digit dialling forms part of plans to move the country from the current standardised seven-digit dialling as the 876 area code becomes exhausted and a new area code — 658 — added.
According to the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR), in order to ensure that telephone numbers will always be available, the new area code is being introduced.
Customers are therefore being reminded to update their contact lists with 876 preceding all local numbers in preparation for the new regime, which has been necessitated by the acquisition of the new three-digit area code for the island.
In the meantime, telecoms providers FLOW and Digicel, in collaboration the OUR will enable a permissive dialling period between today and October 30 to allow customers to become familiar with 10-digit dialling.
During this period customers who dial seven digits will receive a recording reminding them that 10-digit dialling is in effect before the call is connected. However, on November 1, if customers fail to utilise the new dialling regime they will be asked to hang up and dial again using 10 digits.
Jamaica is the first North American Numbering Plan Administration country in the region to implement an additional area code.The new 658 area code will not take effect until the 876 code is exhausted.
Jamaica's 876 area code was assigned in 1996 and it was the view then that it would provide sufficient numbering capacity for the next 20 years of demand growth.
But 13 years later the country had to consider the introduction of a new area code to augment the existing 876 numbering space.more