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California Public Utilities Commission
505 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE PRESS RELEASE Media Contact: Terrie Prosper, 415.703.1366, firstname.lastname@example.org Docket #: A.11-06-008
CPUC APPROVES NEW 669 AREA CODE OVERLAY TO 408 AREA CODE
TO MEET CONSUMER DEMAND FOR NEW NUMBERS
SAN FRANCISCO, October 20, 2011 - The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) today approved an all-services overlay that will add a new 669 area code to the same geographic region as the existing 408 area code in order to provide additional telephone numbers to meet increasing consumer demand.
An area code overlay adds a second area code to the same geographic region as an existing area code. Therefore, multiple area codes can co-exist within the same geographic region. New telephone numbers with the 669 area code will be issued to customers requesting new telecommunication services beginning 13 months from today.
Customers will not be required to change their existing telephone numbers. But, consumers calling any number in the 408 area code will have to dial the area code plus phone number beginning six months from today. If they do not, their calls will still go through for a six-month grace period. The new dialing procedure must be used beginning one year from today.
The 408 area code is predominantly in Santa Clara County, as well as neighboring cities and small unincorporated portions of Alameda and Santa Cruz Counties. Cities in the 408 area code include San Jose (the state's third largest city), as well as the cities of Campbell, Cupertino, Gilroy, Los Gatos, Milpitas, Monte Sereno, Morgan Hill, Santa Clara, Saratoga, Sunnyvale, and a portion of Palo Alto.
"I support overlays as the correct solution for area code relief, consistent with the position I took in consideration of the area codes 442 and 790 exhaust situations," said Commissioner Timothy Alan Simon. "I favor approaches that lower costs for small businesses in California. Small business innovation and job creation are what make America great. With an overlay, no one has to change their telephone number, a result that is particularly appealing to me, since small businesses are facing such great economic challenges in this economy to stay competitive and cost effective."
Area codes were first introduced to California in 1947. The region now served by the 408 area code was originally part of the 415 area code, one of the first three area codes in the state. In June 1959, the 408 area code was created by splitting the 415 area code to meet consumer demand for new telephone numbers. In 1997, San Benito County and most of Monterey County and Santa Cruz County were split from the 408 area code and assigned the 831 area code.
In response to demand for new numbers and facing exhaustion of available numbers, the CPUC had previously adopted an overlay for the 408 area code. But on December 16, 1999, it suspended the overlay plan while number conservation measures extended the life of the 408 area code. Despite these measures, the North American Numbering Plan Administration (NANPA) projects the 408 area code will run out of numbers (the first three digits after the area code) in the first quarter of 2013. NANPA holds overall responsibility for the neutral administration of telephone numbers in California.
In approving the 408/669 overlay today, the CPUC granted the request of NANPA that the CPUC approve an all-services overlay. The coexistence of both the 408 and 669 area codes will provide additional numbers to the dwindling supply and will allow communications providers to meet the demand for telephone numbers.
To help educate consumers about the new area code, the CPUC has established a public education program task force consisting of CPUC staff and at least one representative from each telephone service provider or industry holder of numbering resources in the 408 area code.
Prior to approving the area code overlay, the CPUC held public meetings over the course of four days (March 15-18, 2011) in San Jose, Los Gatos, and Morgan Hill. Officials in all affected local jurisdictions were notified of the meeting schedule, provided an information package, and invited to participate in a special meeting for local government officials. At all of the meetings, attendees were given the option of indicating their preferences by commenting orally or in writing using comment forms. In addition, the CPUC received input via email and through the CPUC's website. By July 13, 2011, five times as many people favored an overlay as supported a split. Telephone carriers strongly favored an overlay because it is least disruptive to consumers.
The proposal voted on by the CPUC is at: http://docs.cpuc.ca.gov/WORD_PDF/AGENDA_DECISION/145640.pdf
For more information on the 408 area code, please visit www.cpuc.ca.gov/PUC/Telco/generalInfo/Area+Codes/408+Area+Code.htm
For more information on the CPUC, please visit www.cpuc.ca.gov.