By LISA VAZZI SCIRANKO
Rapid technological advances in the telecommunications field have done more than make our heads
spin. They've created a distinct overlap.
"We're getting to the point where the computer and phone are merging together with cell phones, video phones
and wireless, growing a new breed of service experts," said Gary Hursey of Hursey Telecom in O'Fallon. "At some point in the
near future, your phone, television and computer will all be connected."
Hursey said his company has found that customers do not wish to call four different people to assist with
their service [continue]
A business leader at a recent Macworld Expo, left, listens as Aric Fedida, of Tel Aviv, demonstrates free long-distance
calling via the Internet. Fedida works for VocalTec Inc., which creates software products for 'voice chat' capability on the
Area code solutions include new ways to assign numerical series
By LISA VAZZI SCIRANKO
Phone number exhaustion in several Illinois area codes has been a topic on the minds of many businesses, consumers and
As a member of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, U.S. Rep.
John Shimkus, R-Collinsville, participated in a hearing on area code exhaustion and possible solutions.
"No one looks forward to an area code split," Shimkus said. "We all face the stress and challenge of
remembering new numbers and changing stationery, but running out of numbers means our region is growing technologically - and
in numbers - which are good signs. Every effort is being made to delay any area code splits, but somewhere down the line we
will probably have to face such a challenge."
Frank Colaco, senior area code relief planner with the North American Numbering Plan Administration, said
there are seven separate area code relief projects in Illinois. The area codes include 217, 618, 312, 630, 708, 773 and 815,
all of which are in various states of exhaustion, he said.
NANPA is the administrator that works with the telecommunications industry in
State, local interests address transportation needs
By KERRY L. SMITH
COLLINSVILLE -- Business, labor and community interests from Southwestern Illinois met in
November as a united effort to support increased federal transportation funding for Illinois.
At a briefing for area businesses, workers and elected officials listened to transportation expert Carla Berroyer
describe federal transportation funding formulas and the