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Jul 31, 2002

Phones switch to seven digits on Thursday

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The last time B.T.L. told us about those new seven digit telephone numbers, it turned out that the old ones were still good for another three months. Not so this time, says B.T.L., as beginning tomorrow the five digit numbers just won’t cut it. Suzette Tillett, Manager of B.T.L.’s Public Relations Department, says telephone users both at home and abroad should have already gotten used to the new numbers. She advises customers that in order to avoid delays when making a call, they should have the new seven digit number on hand.

Suzette Tillett, Manager, B.T.L. Public Relations Dept.

“Starting August first they must dial seven digits when making local calls within Belize as well as when calling Belize from abroad.”

Jacqueline Wood

“What happens if someone from abroad calls the old number?”

Suzette Tillett

“Basically that call wouldn’t directly hit the Belize operator. That call would hit their local operator, which would then re-route the call for them, or they would get their recording that that call cannot be completed. So when calling from abroad, they need to also dial the seven digits. All the international carriers are informed, so they know that Belize carries seven digits. So when you’re dialling from whatever country through whatever carrier, they would have already known this.”

Jacqueline Wood

“Since the new numbers were introduced, are people finally getting adjusted to the new system or do you find that there’s still problems?”

Suzette Tillett

“I think that for the most part most of them are getting used to dialling seven digits. I think a lot of them have been asking, why did you give us so long to get used to it? And basically we thought we needed to do this, we needed to give them a three-month period to get used to dialling seven digits. But for the most part I think people are getting used to it when they give you their number, they would tell you in the seven digit format.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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