Editorial: Early preparation (country dialing code St. Maarten)

POSTED: 08/2/11 1:59 PM

The Bureau Telecommunications and Post has shown in yet another practical way that life in St. Maarten is changing and that early preparation is the best way to manage it. They’ve done this by launching a campaign to inform people about the change in country code that will take effect on September 30. People now have a year to get their family, friends and business contacts abroad to update their contact lists to reflect the new numbering system.

Even though this measure will not have a great local impact, we’d suggest that people here also get accustomed to the new country code so that they are well versed in it when they have to travel abroad. We also believe that people should remember that you can’t just dial the seven digit number when calling from the French side. Further to that Chippie customers may have challenges as they move around in Chippie land because country codes in those areas will be different. For example the country code for Curacao, St. Eustatius, Saba, and Bonaire will still be (00-599) and people may experience issues when dialing home when the Mandatory Dialing Period begins in 2013.

It is good idea that material like this is covered in the next phases of the information campaign that goes past Monday’s press release. No doubt every challenge with the new system may not be anticipated, but we get the impression that the most obvious ones and some of the less obvious ones will be addressed. Also, a word to the wise, ensure that the campaign is multi-lingual so the majority of the country’s population can receive the information.

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