Make that (902)NEW-CALL

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It’s not like Islanders and Nova Scotians weren’t informed that it would be happening, but there’s bound to be some angst over today’s introduction of 10-digit dialing for local calls.

In a sense, it’s no big deal, just three extra digits.

But many of us seem to possess a reluctance to moving away from the norm, the way things used to be done. Having expressed that, it’s doubtful any of us would want to go back to the way things once were – the old crank telephones, party lines or live interaction with an operator before completing a call.

No, it’s pretty simple to pick up a phone, tap seven digits and wait for the caller at the other end of the line to pick up, or to press a number in the phone’s memory bank and let it do the dialing.

But all that is old technology to many telecommunications users who now rely extensively on texting and smart phones to stay in touch.

Still, all those programmable devices also require the 902 prefix, so even the most hip of the telecommunication wizards are going to have to make some adjustments.

It is good, though, that Islanders and Nova Scotians are being given nearly three months of grace time before local calls simply won’t go through without the 902 prefix. Sooner or later, though, everyone will have to adjust to the new dialing requirement. We might as well do so now, rather than leaving out the 902 and having to sit through a recorded message before the call goes through.

While there’s more to the change than this, the 902 prefix will help solve the nuisance of making a cellphone call along the coast and ending up getting connected to someone across the water in New Brunswick instead of the neighbour down the road. It doesn’t, however, solve the issue of dead zones, where calls just won’t go through.

Chatter about the “nuisance” of having to dial 902 in front of all local calls will surely give rise to chatter about there being so many communication devices out there in addition to the standard landline, and how families are paying out way more to stay in touch than they did even a mere decade ago.

Now, there’s a phone bill for practically everyone in the family. It’s little wonder some families are parting with their landlines and staying in touch via their mobile devices, and this new 10-digit dialing just might serve to speed up that shift.

Geographic location: Nova Scotians, New Brunswick

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