The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Decima Reports. The application by the United Way of Greater Toronto and Community Information Toronto (CIT) to establish the 211 dialing code is a worthwhile advance in the provision of telephony services. As our article on page 5 of this issue points out, the system will provide easy dial-up access to social services. The trek through a long, confusing maze of agencies and social workers will be streamlined. In addition, the development of an easy to remember code should ease the pressure on the 911 sys-tem. The recent introduction of 911 to Prince Edward Island, where curious residents tied up lines with non-emergency calls, aptly demonstrates why an additional service is needed. It is also refreshing to see the United Way and CIT targeting private donations to fund the system. At a time when everyone - from social agencies to businesses (including the media biz) to the elected officials themselves - is demanding more tax money for themselves, hopefully this approach will not prove to be a hard sell. This would be a good opportunity for companies in the telecom sector to put their money where their mouths are and offer cash and/or services to insure the successful launch of 211. The recent decision by Nortel Networks to stop participating in the United Way campaign in Ottawa shows there is room for firms to readjust their social commitments. The other development cited in our story also deserves mention. The establishment of a voicemail service for low-income and homeless people in the national capital provides a bridge to the more disadvantaged elements of our world. It is far too easy to forget how vital a phone is for people. An affordable voice mail box can provide reassurance to friends and family who have been unable to keep in contact with loved ones. It also gives would-be employers a place to reach workers who are trying to reintegrate into society. The CRTC should be in receipt of the 211 application before the summer begins. The commission has a heavy schedule over the next few months. Let's hope it can find a way to expedite this proposal quickly.