TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Bell South Plans Number Changes in Florida

Bell South Plans Number Changes in Florida

Iain Thomson (
Mon, 11 Jul 2005 14:43:05 -0500

Fast-growing northern St. Johns County will be moved from five phone
exchanges into one.


About 4,000 BellSouth telephone customers in northern St. Johns County
west of the Intracoastal Waterway would have to change their numbers
under a proposed realignment of boundaries in the fast-growing area.

The boundary changes being sought would affect BellSouth customers in
the St. Johns County, St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra Beach, Jacksonville,
Green Cove Springs and Julington exchanges.

The Florida Public Service Commission must approve the change and has
three public hearings planned to listen to comments.

According to Marta Casas-Celaya, a BellSouth spokeswoman for BellSouth
at corporate headquarters in Miami, the proposed change involves two

First, the telephone company plans to consolidate the Julington
exchange, which has about 15,000 customers, with the St. Johns County
exchange to create a larger one that would encompass most of northern
St. Johns County. ThatThe change would not require the Julington
exchange customers to change numbers.

The second move would shift customers from the Ponte Vedra Beach
exchange who are west of the Intracoastal Waterway into the St. Johns
County exchange. Also, Jacksonville exchange customers located around
the Bartram Plantation development, Green Cove Springs exchange
customers east of the St. Johns River and north St. Augustine exchange
customers also would be shifted into the exchange. They would have to
change numbers but would be allowed to retain their old calling scope
and rates for a period of two years, Casas-Celaya said.

She did not know how many of the 4,000 customers who could face number
changes were businesses that would have to have new stationery and
business cards printed with new numbers.

"What we are doing is consolidating five different exchanges into
one," she said. "The growth in that area is such that people who are
literally across the street from each other have different
exchanges. We want to streamline that process and while we are at it,
improve service."

Todd Brown, a regulatory supervisor and consultant for the Public
Service Commission, said BellSouth has not requested any change to the
area code.

At the public hearings, a BellSouth representative will make a
presentation on the changes being sought and then people will have an
opportunity to speak, Brown said.

"Any change would be months away," he added., (904) 359-4374

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Street: 1 Riverside Ave., Jacksonville, FL 32202 | Mailing: P.O. Box 949,
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