Time running out to adjust phone systems

[Published on 18 Feb, 2002]

On March 1, when users need to dial an extra digit '6' in front of all
fixed-line telephone and facsimile numbers here, many smaller companies
may find their communication lines cut off.

The reason - many of them have yet to reprogramme their internal switchboards
or Private Automatic Branch Exchanges (PABXs) and their systems may reject
eight-digit numbers or chop them off after seven digits.

This means that if someone dials 6123-4567 to reach them, their system may
read the number as 6123-456, cutting out the last digit and the call as well.

The change will not affect normal household phones but users have to remember
to add a '6' when they dial the numbers of other fixed line telephones.

Most large companies and multinational corporations have already reconfigured
their PABXs but the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) believes that many
small and medium enterprises (SMEs) here have not done so.