The new area codes are about to go into effect. What should I check on my computer in order to be able to the Internet when they are changed?
This question was answered on August 30, 1999. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.
The coming area code changes will mean different things to different people It can mean nothing at all, or be very complicated depending upon your ISP (Internet Service Provider), your operating system (Windows 95/98/NT, etc.) and if your area code has actually changed Start by determining whether your area code has changed and if your ISP’s area code has changed For instance, if your new area code is 480 and your provider has also been moved to 480, you should not have to do anything to be able to continue to connect If, however, you have moved to 480 and they stayed at 602 or visa versa, you will have to make a modification to the way the computer attempts to make the connection The next step will be determined by what software you are using to connect to the Internet AOL users should simply look for a new connection number in their new area code If you use a local ISP and connect using Windows 95 or 98 you need to make modifications to the modem properties of your dial-up networking session The configuration information for connecting to our ISP is usually contained in the Dial-Up Networking section of your computer To access this configuration for your ISP, double-click on My Computer, then on the Dial-Up Networking icon When the Dial-Up Networking window opens, you should see several icons that include “Make New Connection” and an icon that represents your current ISP’s configuration RIGHT-CLICK on the icon that represents your ISP, then on the Properties option to reveal the properties window (see image – dunshot.jpg) Remove the check mark (simply click on the box) in front of "Use area code and Dialing properties" This will gray-out the area code box, and also tells this session to ignore any settings in the "Dialing Properties" of your modem What that means for this configuration only, is you must put all required numbers and symbols in the "Telephone Number" box including the new area code Example: instead of 368-4621use 480-368-4621 This configuration forces the modem to dial the exact numbers listed which eliminates the possibility of the system automatically putting a "1" in front of the number If you want to disable call waiting for this session, you would need to add the *70 Example: *70,480-368-4621 If you must dial "9" to get an outside line at your office you must put that in as well Example: 9,480-368-4621 Again, this will only affect this one configuration If you have multiple ISP's you will need to do the same to each configuration Windows 98 has a “one size fits all” solution for all dialing sessions You can set the area code rules for all sessions in the Modem Properties You can get the step-by-step instructions for both Windows 95 & 98 as well as an area code conversion chart at my free help web site (www.support4free.com) Other modem programs such as Fax or Auto-Dialers will have to be checked for similar options to ignore the area code and dial numbers as entered Remember, September 1, is the “drop dead” date, so make the changes now so you can test them before the changeover
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Ken Colburn of Data Doctors on August 30, 1999