Point Roberts phone users had an unexpected recording when they dialed locally. As of July 29, all phone calls require 10-digit dialing.
The move comes in advance of the rollout of a new area code, 564, which will allow more numbers in crowded areas of the 360 and other western Washington area codes.
When Whidbey Telecom announced the change in June 2016, chief operating officer Chris Burns predicted the new area code would not show up on the Point, where all numbers fit nicely in the 945 prefix. “Because Point Roberts is so small and we’ve had that block of numbers for so long I don’t think it will affect numbering in Point Roberts,” he said. A prefix’s numbering space is 10,000, and there are currently 1,320 lines in service on the Point.
What Burns couldn’t answer at the time was whether, given that, local calls would need 10-digit dialing and when. Apparently the answer is yes, and the time is now. All calls require 10 digits.