It’s a little thing…

April 16th, 2010 by Emma Durand-Wood

…but hearing that Manitoba may soon go to 10-digit dialing makes me a bit sad. Apparently, Manitoba will get a new area code (probably 431) and you’ll have to dial an area code before any local numbers sometime in 2012.

I’d gotten used to 10-digit dialing in Vancouver – I didn’t really question it, as there are so many people, and therefore phones, in the Lower Mainland that it only made sense. But when I was growing up in southern Alberta, it had always been 7-digit dialing. It was a huge deal when they added a second area code for northern Alberta, but it wasn’t hard to get used to, either. Then, on a recent trip home, I couldn’t figure out why my local calls weren’t going through. “You have to dial 403,” my mum told me. And so Alberta had gone 10-digit, too.

Lots of people speak wistfully about the good old days of party lines or when everyone had the same first three digits, so that when someone gave you their phone number, you only had to remember the last four. In the same quasi-nostalgic way, I guess I’d always thought it was quaint, or charming, or something, that here in little old Winnipeg, we don’t have to dial an area code. But now it looks like those days are coming to an end.

It’s a seemingly trivial thing, I know. Anyone else a bit verklempt over this, too?

7 Responses to “It’s a little thing…”

  1. Christian says:

    Soon we’ll be divided into a province of ‘204’ people and ‘413’people. It’ll be easy to spot the newbies 😉

  2. Maybe it’s my penchant for tech, or my laziness, but I don’t think I’ve actually dialed a phone number in quite some time … most of the people I phone are in the contact list of my mobile or on my computer. So I don’t think 10-digit dialing will bother me or folks like me so much. I can see it being a nuisance for older generations though, and I have a feeling businesses who market their phone numbers as a recognizable part of their business are going to have a hard time with it as well.

  3. backspace says:

    The annoying thing about this is that it’s only because of shady business on behalf of MTS that this is necessary, as we are quite far from having used up all the 204 numbers.

    MTS is forced by regulations to sell numbers to other companies to mitigate its monopoly. So if another telecom company is setting up VOIP for some client, say 50 numbers, MTS says “Oh, it’s not cost-effective for us to sell you that small a block, you have to buy 10000 numbers.” That’s a huge monetary burden on smaller companies, MTS is doing it to make business hard for competitors.

    That overselling tactic is why we have to move to 10-digit dialing. Ridiculous, no?

  4. Close says:

    I am a bit sad, reticent, resistant…. One might say it is because it has to be, some might say it is because the dollar will come to play. Simple is better to a degree. I want the simple, it’s ethical.

  5. Mr. Nobody says:

    Wow, we are Big Time now. This is a fantastic occurrence. Not sure why, but it is. We are like Alberta, Vancouver, Toronto. This is great. I feel so spiritually energized I can puke. Verklempt not all….I am super jazzed, super hyped, super hipped, super duper pumped about this. I’m also on mescaline which makes living here just slighlty bearable.

  6. Emily Jane says:

    I still remember growing up in England when everyone had the same first three digits… and you only had to remember the last THREE digits! (Although we did have 5 digit area codes so I’m sure it all evens out in the end!) But this does make me feel like we’re Big Time now 🙂

  7. I think its great. It shows signs of growth.
    And you can see it almost everywhere.
    Don’t get me started about MTS…

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