We know the warning: "Before you dig, call." That call will be a lot easier to make, as the Federal Communications Commission recently designated 811 as the nationwide number to call before excavating. The abbreviated dialing code is mandated to be operational within two years from publication of its designation in the Federal Register.
The code will replace the various numbers used across the nation to connect to communications systems operated by underground utility operators and state and local governments. "One Call" notification systems enable contractors to give advance notice of their plans to excavate so utility companies can mark underground utilities to prevent damage.