Goodbye to 702 in northern Nevada |

Goodbye to 702 in northern Nevada

Beginning Saturday, callers dialing Northern Nevada must use the 775 area code to get through.

Since December, when Nevada’s second area code went into effect, callers could dial either the new 775 or the old 702 area codes to reach a number in the new code area. The Las Vegas region retained the 702 code.

For another five months, callers dialing the old area code will hear a recording telling them they must dial the new code. After Oct. 9, callers trying to use the 702 area code for anywhere except the Las Vegas area will only hear that they dialed a wrong number.

Once all the transitional periods are over, telephone companies will be able to reissue Northern Nevada numbers to new customers in the 702 region.

The transition is not without problems. There is a lot of equipment to reprogram.

Phone customers with fast-dial numbers or wireless service need to reprogram their phones. Businesses using PBX switchboard systems and the thousands of telephone carriers across the nation must also reprogram their systems to recognize the new area code.

Some are slower than others to make the change, which has created gaps in service.

“We’ve had that problem throughout the nation,” GTE public affairs manager Mike Page said regarding callers being unable to get through using a good number. “(Because of the expense), some (carries) wait until the very last minute.”

Should problems occur, they are almost always with the carrier where the phone call originates, Page said.

Callers having difficulty getting through should contact that long-distance carrier. In some cases, a business or hotel’s phone system may be the problem and that operator should be contacted.

Page does not anticipate too many difficulties.

“In the last two or three years, 20 to 30 new area codes have been introduced in the United States,” he said. “We’ve had a lot of experience in changing.”

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