How to sign up with a long-distance carrier

Choose a phone company. Bostonians whose phone numbers start with the following numbers must pick their primary long-distance company by March 1 if they don't want to be charged $5 per line (not per extension) for making a late decision: 236, 247, 262, 266, 267, 353, 421, 424, 437, 536, 572, 578, 579, 638.

Notify New England Telephone. Call NET directly on 1-800-555-5000 or ask your long-distance company to tell NET of your choice. NET will notify you by mail of the date when your selection goes into effect.

What if you change your mind? Once you've chosen a carrier, you will be charged $5 for each line you switch to a different long-distance company.

What if you don't pick a company? Your calls will continue to be handled as they are now. However, in the future it may not be possible for you to make long-distance calls without first dialing a five-digit access number or choosing a primary carrier at a charge.

Guidelines for consumers. For each line (not extension) you can choose only one primary long-distance company. This will allow you to dial 1 plus the area code and number for long-distance calls made through that carrier. But this doesn't keep you from using any of the other eight carriers that will be serving Boston. Each of them, including AT&T, will be assigned a five-digit code. To use any carrier that is not your primary one, just dial the five-digit code. Call each carrier to learn its code and to ask for additional information.

AT&T 1-800-222-0300

Allnet 1-800-982-8888

ITT 1-800-526-3000

First Phone Link Service 1-800-322-6221

MCI 1-800-624-2222

Western Union 1-800-526-5303

SBS Skyline 1-800-235-2001

GTE Sprint 1-800-521-4949

US Tel 1-800-527-4105

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