FORT JACKSON, SC -- If you use a telephone for talking, then your fingers will have to do a little more walking beginning June 18 as Fort Jackson's official government telephone service migrates to a new dialing system.

The 5-digit dialing shortcut, which allows a caller to dial the number 4 before the suffix of an on-post telephone number, will no longer be operational starting after close of business hours June 17.

When Fort Jackson community members return to work the following morning, they will be required to dial the "751" prefix for all calls on post.

"That means customers will have to reprogram their speed dial and will also have to dial seven digits when they transfer calls or call voicemail," said Kathy Hayes, chief, Service Management Division, U.S. Army Signal Network Enterprise Center-Fort Jackson.

The new dialing system will also require callers to dial the following new prefixes before dialing off post: 94 for DSN numbers; 99 for local calls; and 97 before dialing 1 to call long distance.

The changes to Fort Jackson's dialing system stems from a larger infrastructure modernization program initiated by the Department of Defense's Defense Information Systems Agency called the Worldwide Numbering and Dialing Plan. The U.S. Army Network Enterprise Technology Command, or NETCOM, is in charge of implementing the WWNDP standards throughout the Army.

"Fort Jackson's (system) is not the first to be implemented, and it is not the last," Hayes said. "This is a worldwide fielding effort, so all military installations around the globe will be changed in the same manner."

"This DISA directed dialing plan change is designed to set a standard for dialing access across all military installations, and is just one of those upgrades that we have to accomplish," said Ron Rice, site manager for Fort Jackson's telephone service. "Most of the changes that have either been done, or that are going to be done, are seamless to the customers."

But old habits are hard to break, said Jesus RosaVelez, Fort Jackson NEC director, so as the convenience of 5-digit dialing comes to an end, he suggests callers be mindful and patient.

"People need to talk about it, think about all the places where phone numbers are listed and published, and prepare to update that information," RosaVelez said. "They also need to raise their issues with the Fort Jackson NEC desk and facilitate the change when they hear a co-worker say 'My phone doesn't work.'"

To help customers prepare for the changes, the NEC began distributing stick-on quick-reference labels for telephones this week to all post organizations. The labels are now available at their help desk located at 4282 Jackson Blvd.

For more information, contact the FJ-NEC at 751-3646.

Leader reporter Kris Gonzalez contributed to this report.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16