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Wedding for 619 and 858 area codes imminent

"It’s an inconvenience, but it’s a side effect on our reliance of technology.”

On October 9, Tom Davis from Kensington received a letter from AT&T. It read: “Boundary Area Code Elimination Overlay Approved for the 619 and 858 Area Codes,” followed by an explanation and new procedures for dialing within our local area codes.

“It’s an inconvenience, but it’s just a side effect on our reliance of technology,” Davis said. He was referring to how we dial numbers that are stored on our cell phones or land lines. Soon, it will be necessary to dial the “1” followed by the 619 or 858 area code, then the seven-digit phone number, to connect, no matter if you’re in the same area code dialing out.

On May 1, the California Public Utilities Commission released a press release that stated: “The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has taken action to ensure that phone numbers continue to be available to meet demand in the 619 area code by allowing both the 619 and 858 area codes to be used in the same geographic region. The 619 area code is expected to use up its available prefixes by March 2019.

"The 619/858 area code overlay approved by the CPUC last week eliminates the boundaries between the 619 and 858 area codes in the San Diego region, making either area code available to serve the current 619 and 858 geographic region. In a traditional area code overlay, a new area code is added to the existing geographic area served by the area code in which numbers are depleting. In this case, instead of adding a new area code to the 619 area code region, the CPUC eliminated the boundaries in which the two area codes can be allocated so that the 619 and 858 numbers will be available for the whole region."

“I already did this with my family’s [stored] phone numbers,” Davis said. When he travels outside of our area codes to do work as a requirements analyst for the Navy, he clicks one button on his smartphone and it dials the 1-plus-10 digit set of numbers.

The utilities commission also states that, starting November 11, when dialing locally, residents have the option of dialing with the old (7 digits) or new (11 digits) procedure, but come May 19, 2018, the new sequence will be required in order for the user to connect.

“I remember when people got mad because they wanted to hold their old 714 area code,” Davis said, “but we survived that.”

In November of 1982, the 619 area code was created from a split of the original 714 area code; in 1997, the 619 area code was split to form the 760 area code; then, in 1999, the 619 area code was split again to create the 858 area code.

For the latest change, the utilities commission states that “the 858 area code still has a projected life of beyond thirty years and all customers with existing 619 and 858 numbers will retain their current telephone numbers."

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On October 9, Tom Davis from Kensington received a letter from AT&T. It read: “Boundary Area Code Elimination Overlay Approved for the 619 and 858 Area Codes,” followed by an explanation and new procedures for dialing within our local area codes.

“It’s an inconvenience, but it’s just a side effect on our reliance of technology,” Davis said. He was referring to how we dial numbers that are stored on our cell phones or land lines. Soon, it will be necessary to dial the “1” followed by the 619 or 858 area code, then the seven-digit phone number, to connect, no matter if you’re in the same area code dialing out.

On May 1, the California Public Utilities Commission released a press release that stated: “The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has taken action to ensure that phone numbers continue to be available to meet demand in the 619 area code by allowing both the 619 and 858 area codes to be used in the same geographic region. The 619 area code is expected to use up its available prefixes by March 2019.

"The 619/858 area code overlay approved by the CPUC last week eliminates the boundaries between the 619 and 858 area codes in the San Diego region, making either area code available to serve the current 619 and 858 geographic region. In a traditional area code overlay, a new area code is added to the existing geographic area served by the area code in which numbers are depleting. In this case, instead of adding a new area code to the 619 area code region, the CPUC eliminated the boundaries in which the two area codes can be allocated so that the 619 and 858 numbers will be available for the whole region."

“I already did this with my family’s [stored] phone numbers,” Davis said. When he travels outside of our area codes to do work as a requirements analyst for the Navy, he clicks one button on his smartphone and it dials the 1-plus-10 digit set of numbers.

The utilities commission also states that, starting November 11, when dialing locally, residents have the option of dialing with the old (7 digits) or new (11 digits) procedure, but come May 19, 2018, the new sequence will be required in order for the user to connect.

“I remember when people got mad because they wanted to hold their old 714 area code,” Davis said, “but we survived that.”

In November of 1982, the 619 area code was created from a split of the original 714 area code; in 1997, the 619 area code was split to form the 760 area code; then, in 1999, the 619 area code was split again to create the 858 area code.

For the latest change, the utilities commission states that “the 858 area code still has a projected life of beyond thirty years and all customers with existing 619 and 858 numbers will retain their current telephone numbers."

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Comments
7

"In a traditional area code overlay, a new area code is added to the existing geographic area served by the area code in which numbers are depleting. In this case, instead of adding a new area code to the 619 area code region, the CPUC eliminated the boundaries...."

So rather than the CPUC do what should "traditionally" be done, which would require them to actually do some work and create a new area code map, they just lump everyone together and make everyone making every call have to press an additional 4 buttons.

Guess whatever leaves them more time to collude on screwing over ratepayers?

Oct. 13, 2017

So, when did the CPUC, in all of its infinite wisdom, hold hearings on this change? I don’t recall getting or seeing any notice on this.

Oct. 13, 2017

Here in No County a few years ago, we got a "traditional" code overlay involving the new 442 area code. (Has anyone seen a 442 telephone number yet? I haven't.) Supposedly the 760 area was soon to run out of numbers, and the proposal was to take the San Diego County portion (and maybe some other areas) and change them to 442. After having to go through two changes, from 714 to 619, and then from 619 to 760, there was plenty of resistance. The counter proposal was to let No County keep 760 and to change the rest of the area to 442. That would have involved Imperial County and a big swath of the eastern area of the state up as far north as Mono County. The compromise was the overlay, which we've had for a number of years, wherein all numbers must be dialed with the area code, and the access code of "1". It's a pain in the butt, but you get used to it.

There must be a better way, but the telephone companies say they can't make it work any other way.

Oct. 13, 2017

I have struggled since they took away our party line. I was young then and eagerly looking forward to the 'party' but it never seemed to happen. I had to settle for listening in on our neighbors' domestic dramas. But probably the worst was when they took away our exchange name (PEnnsylvania 6-5000) and replaced it with a long number that was hard to remember or sing about. To add insult to injury they added an area code, and they changed that from time to time just to confuse us even more.

I suppose a planetary code is in the planning stage. Well, I won't be around for that...

Oct. 14, 2017

Mike Madriaga As it is now you have to "dial" the area code when using a cell phone and a 1 + area code when using a land line. I am not clear on the change applicable to cell service. Will we have to dial 1 when using a cell phone after May 19, 2018?

Oct. 14, 2017

The short answer is no, when using a cellphone, and yes when calling on a landline. A more complete explanation as to why it's this way can be found here: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ten-digit_dialing

Simply, smart phones have a send button that tells the smart phone network here's the whole number I'm calling. Old landline phones don't know when your done pressing digits so they need the "one or zero" digit to alert them to expect more digits to follow (except zero and a long pause connects to an operator, whereas zero followed by a 1 plus a country code number).

Oct. 15, 2017

Well, just another way the power players keep us from having time and energy to do important things and be involved in our communities. It's "keep them busy and confused, so they don't do anything else - more important". Cynical, yes. True - could be.

Oct. 28, 2017

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