Northern Ontario residents ache to have some of the things their southern counterparts have. However, in just over a year many will have to get used to something most of the rest of the country has: 10-digit local calling.
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission said Tuesday that adding three-digit prefixes to all calls will start in parts of the 705 area on Jan. 15, 2011. Two months later the whole area will be covered. The 705 region, which includes Sudbury and Sault Ste. Marie, roughly splits Northern Ontario on a line north from from Wawa to Hudson's Bay. It runs as far south as the 905 region, which includes the Greater Toronto Area.
Not only that, the northerners will have to put up with another southern inconvenience: Those getting a new phone number likely won't get a 705 prefix but will have to get used to 249.
The ordered was not unexpected. In March the Canadian Numbering Administrator (CNA) warned that area code 705 is expected to run out of telephone numbers by October 2012.Not affected is the western half of northern Ontario, which has the 807 area code.