AT&T announces new area code overlay approved for the Alabama 205 area code

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CENTRAL ALABAMA (WIAT) — AT&T announced there will be a new area code in the 205 area code region that will affect many people in the area.

To ensure a continuing supply of telephone numbers, the company said, the new 659 area code will be added to the area served by 205. This is known as an area code overlay. Callers should get ready to change the way you dial your local numbers.

An overlay is the addition of another area code, such as 659, to the same geographic region as an existing area code, like 205. An overlay does not require customers to change their existing area code. This only applies to customers who will be receiving a new number once the area code goes into effect. 

Who will be affected? 

AT&T states, the 205 area code generally covers the west central portion of the state serving communities such as Butler, Birmingham, Clanton, Hamilton, Jasper, Pell City and Tuscaloosa. The new 659 area code will serve the same geographic area currently served by the existing 205 area code. 

What will be the new dialing procedure?

To complete local calls, the new dialing procedure requires callers to dial area code + telephone number. This means that all local calls in the 205 area code that are currently dialed with seven digits will need to use the mentioned procedure. The same dialing procedure will apply to telephone numbers assigned to the new 659 are code. 

When will the change begin? 

The new dialing procedure goes into effect April 13, 2019. At that time, callers should begin using the new dialing procedure whenever placing a call from the 205 area code. If you forget and dial just seven digits, your call will still complete. 

After Oct. 12, 2019, if you do not use the new dialing procedure, your calls will not complete. A recorded message will instruct you to hang up and dial again, including the area code. Beginning Nov. 12, 2019, new telephone lines or service may be assigned numbers using the new 659 area code. 

What will remain the same? 

  • Your telephone number, including current area code, will not change
  • The price of a call, coverage area, or other rates and services will not change due to the overlay
  • What is a local call now will remain a local call regardless of the number of digits dialed
  • If 211, 311, 411, 511, 611, 711, or 811 are currently available in your community, you will still dial these codes with just three digits. 

Contact AT&T at 800-288-2020 if you have question regarding information provided. 

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