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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.

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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

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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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