TO: Editors, News Directors

DATE: December 4, 2001

FOR: Immediate Release 
 

928 Area Code Becomes Mandatory January 5

PHOENIX - Are you sending holiday cards from your home or business? Be sure to remind your family, friends and customers about your new area code if you are in the one of the communities affected by the area code change. By starting to use the new area code now, you can avoid the inconvenience of hearing a recording and being told to hang up and redial. Beginning on January 5, 2002, if you use the 520 area code to dial into the new 928 territory, you will hear a recording directing you to hang up and redial using the new area code. If you do business in the affected areas, be sure to update your client and customer list to reflect the change.
Communities affected by the area code change include: Bullhead City, Camp Verde, Chinle, Clifton, Cottonwood, Ehrenberg, Flagstaff, Gila Bend, Globe, Grand Canyon, Holbrook, Kingman, Lake Havasu City, Mohave Valley, Oatman, Page, Parker, Payson, Pinetop, Prescott, Quartzsite, Safford, Sedona, Seligman, Show Low, Snowflake, Somerton, Wickenburg, Williams, Window Rock, Winslow, Young and Yuma.
Background on the Area Code Change
Last June, the area served by the 520 area code was split into two different area codes - 520 and 928. Telecommunications providers throughout the state are working on the final transition to mandatory dialing, which begins January 5, 2002.
Arizona needed a new area code because the 520 area code is running out of available telephone number prefixes. Competition in telecommunications and the rapid proliferation of cellular phones, pagers, fax machines and enhanced Internet services are just a few of the reasons that supply of available numbers is dwindling. As the supply of available numbers shrinks, new area codes must be introduced to meet the demand. Arizona opted to split the 520 region into two distinct geographic territories with the introduction of the 928 area code.
The Arizona Corporation Commission's web site includes a table showing the prefixes that move to the 928 area code as well as the prefixes that stay 520.  A small number of prefixes assigned to mobile phones and pagers may not change. The Commission advises customers to check with their mobile communications provider to learn how they are implementing the new area code.
The Affected Communities
Major communities that will CHANGE to the new 928 area code are: Bullhead City, Camp Verde, Chinle, Clifton, Cottonwood, Ehrenberg, Flagstaff, Gila Bend, Globe, Grand Canyon, Holbrook, Kingman, Lake Havasu City, Mohave Valley, Oatman, Page, Parker, Payson, Pinetop, Prescott, Quartzsite, Safford, Sedona, Seligman, Show Low, Snowflake, Somerton, Wickenburg, Williams, Window Rock, Winslow, Young and Yuma.
Here are some of the communities that STAY in the 520 area code: Ajo, Benson, Bisbee, Bowie, Casa Grande, Cascabel, Coolidge, Douglas, Elfrida, Eloy, Florence, Green Valley, Hayden, Maricopa Village, Maricopa, Nogales, Patagonia, Pearce, Portal, Sacaton, San Manuel, San Simon, Sasabe, Sells, Sierra Vista, Stutonic, Sunizona, Superior, Tombstone, Tucson, West San Simon, Whitlow, and Wilcox.
Customers with area codes of 602, 480 or 623 are NOT affected.
For more information, please call your local telephone provider or call the Commission at (602) 542-4251 or (800) 222-7000 from outside Maricopa County.