UPDATE – Local 10-digit dialing coming soon to Manitoba and Saskatchewan

Manitoba and Saskatchewan residents will soon be required to dial 10 digits (the area code followed by the seven-digit phone number) for all local calls. Security services that utilize the telephone network in these provinces will need to fulfill a number of requirements before the implementation date to ensure that transmission of data (such as alarm signals) will not be interrupted.

Requirements for Manitoba
In Manitoba, the 10-digit requirement will start on July 29, 2012. The CRTC also announced that a new area code, 431, would be introduced in the province. Businesses must complete a number of steps before 10-digit dialing is introduced, including ensuring their telecommunications systems and equipment comply with 10-digit local dialing; reprogramming their telephone functions; changing their advertising and stationery; and updating their employee, client, supplier, and other databases.

To ensure a successful transition, it is recommended that people start reprogramming their equipment to comply with 10-digit local dialing as of December 1, 2011.This is the date by which telecommunications companies operating in Manitoba will be able to support 10-digit dialed calls. People should complete all equipment updates before 10-digit local dialing comes into effect on July 29, 2012.

The Telecommunications Alliance—whose members include MTS, Rogers, TELUS, Bell, and Westman Communications Group—was formed to spearhead a public information campaign to ensure a seamless transition to this new local dialing method.

For more details on how to get prepared, please consult the information document available on the Telecommunications Alliance website at www.dial10.ca

Requirements for Saskatchewan

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) announced that starting in May 2013, 10-digit local dialing will be required for all local calls made in Saskatchewan, except for calls made from Kinoosao or Uranium City. The CRTC also announced that a new area code, 639, would be introduced in the province.

The transition to 10-digit dialing will begin on February 25, 2013, and will be gradually introduced over the following weeks. During this transition period, customers who dial seven digits will hear an announcement advising them to include the area code in future calls, after which their call will be completed. Ten-digit dialing will become mandatory by May 11, 2013.

To comply with 10-digit local dialing, some automated dialing systems, including alarm systems, must be reprogrammed to include the area code. It is critically important that any security services that utilize the telephone network are modified to accommodate 10-digit local dialing by February 25, 2013. After this date, a recorded message will be heard each time a call is dialed using seven digits. This message could interrupt the transmission of data such as alarm signals.