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Contact: Terrie Prosper, 415.703.1366,


SAN FRANCISCO, March 11, 2011 - The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) will hold Public Participation Meetings to obtain input from the public into whether the 408 area code should be geographically split, or whether an all services overlay should be added to the region.

Since 2000, the CPUC has employed a number of conservation methods to extend the life of the 408 area code, which covers primarily Santa Clara County. These methods have postponed the need for a new area code significantly. However, a new area code, 669, is necessary because all of the available three digit numbers combined with 408 are expected to be assigned by the fourth quarter of 2012.

Comments from the public can help the CPUC reach an informed decision and members of the public are encouraged to attend one of the following Public Participation Meetings:

- March 16, 2011, 2 p.m.: Local Jurisdiction Meeting (a forum for local officials to comment and ask questions; the public is welcome)

San Jose City Hall, Council Chambers, 200 E. Santa Clara St., San Jose

- March 16, 2011, 7 p.m.: Public Participation Meeting

San Jose City Hall, Council Chambers, 200 E. Santa Clara St., San Jose

- March 17, 2011, 2 p.m. AND 7 p.m.: Public Participation Meeting

Los Gatos Civic Center, City Council Chambers, 110 E. Main St., Los Gatos

- March 18, 2011, 10 a.m.: Public Participation Meeting

Morgan Hill City Hall, City Council Chambers, 17555 Peak Ave., Morgan Hill

On December 2, 2010, the North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA), the neutral third-party area code relief planner for California, held a meeting with service providers to the 408 area code to get their input regarding the most appropriate method of introducing the 669 area code. The industry consensus resulting from that meeting was to recommend an overlay. The CPUC has scheduled the March Public Participation Meetings to inform the public and to receive public comment about the new area code alternatives. See the table below for the differences between an area code split and an area code overlay.

After the Public Participation Meetings, NANPA will submit an application to the CPUC for the new area code recommending the industry-desired solution. In response to NANPA's application, the CPUC will open a proceeding, consider the information presented by NANPA and comments from the public, and issue a Proposed Decision calling for a split or an overlay for Commissioner vote. After the CPUC has made its decision, service providers are required to implement the new area code within a specified period, which can be six months to one year.

The CPUC considers comments made by the public up until the Proposed Decision is voted on by the CPUC's Commissioners. The public is encouraged to voice their opinion either by:

If special arrangements are needed for attendees, such as sign and foreign language interpreters, please contact the CPUC Public Advisor's Office at 1-866-849-8391 or 1-213-576-7055 or email: public.advisor.la@cpuc.ca.gov at least three days prior to the meeting.

More information on the 408 area code is available at www.cpuc.ca.gov/408areacode.

For more information about the CPUC, please visit www.cpuc.ca.gov.


Differences Between an Area Code Split and an Area Code Overlay

Area Code Splits

Area Code Overlays

Splits designate a single area code for a particular geographical region.

Overlays designate more than one area code for a particular geographical region.

Splits require an area code change for approximately one-half of the rate centers within a geographical region in a two-way split. Consumers may have a different area code for their residence telephone numbers compared to their cell phone or business telephone numbers. This depends on the rate center associated with the telephone number.

Overlays will not require consumers with existing telephone numbers to change their area code. Consumers that want new telephone numbers may receive telephone numbers with the new area code. Consumers may be assigned a different area code for telephone numbers within the same residence or business location. Adjoining houses, buildings, etc. may also have different area codes even though they are next to each other.

Splits maintain 7-digit dialing within a geographical region. Consumers do not have to dial the area code when making calls to and/or from telephone numbers with the same area code.

Overlays require consumers to use a new dialing procedure whereby the area code must be dialed for all calls. Currently, in California, when one dials the area code, one must dial "1" before the area code.

Consumers receiving the new area code will need to change stationery, business cards, advertising materials, etc. Consumers may need to notify others of the new area code if their area code changed. Manual or over-the-air reprogramming of cell phones may be needed too.

Consumers may need to revise stationery, business cards, advertising materials, etc., regardless of the area code if the area code was not already on those materials. Consumers may need to reprogram their automatic dialing equipment or other types of equipment that are programmed with only a 7-digit number to ensure that they can handle dialing the new dialing procedure. Consumers will need to notify others of the new dialing procedure.

Future splits will reduce the size of the geographical region associated with an area code.

Overlays do not reduce the size of the geographical region associated with an area code.

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