This isn’t really news, the 778 area code has been province-wide since July 4, 2007, but I don’t get the impression that it was well publicized when the numbers actually started to appear earlier this year.
Most Sooke residents will recognize that this blog is named after the long-time three-digit telephone exchange for Sooke, 642. That got slightly more complicated when ten-digit dialing came in last year, requiring everyone to dial 250- before the seven digit local number. When I moved to the Island four years ago, only having to dial seven digits was such a novelty – ten-digit dialing had been in effect on the Lower Mainland for quite a few years.
The 778 area code, which was previously only in the greater Vancouver area, is now split across the whole province as mentioned above, but it seems that they’ve only run out of 250- numbers this year. So, it’s entirely possible that a local business or residence (including mine) might get a 778 number when installing new services or getting an additional line. In my case, I got the 778 number when I switched to Shaw Digital Phone.
I’ve seen at least one new business (EdGe Restaurant) which has a 778 as well. Obviously, local 778 calls are not long distance. You’ll be able to tell if the call is long distance if, after dialing the number, you’re prompted to hang up and dial a 1 before trying again, much the same as dialing a long-distance 250 number to up-island or interior of BC locations.
So, don’t be afraid to call those 778 numbers, or pick up the phone when you see them on your caller-ID.
–Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional
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