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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Docket #: A.07-03-010

Media Contact: Terrie Prosper, 415.703.1366, news@cpuc.ca.gov


SAN FRANCISCO, September 20, 2007 - The California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) today approved an area code overlay that will add a new 657 area code to the same geographic region as the existing 714 area code.

The 714 area code is located primarily in Orange County, and is used by cities such as Anaheim, Fullerton, Huntington Beach, Orange, Santa Ana, and Yorba Linda.

Consumers with the 714 area code will retain their current telephone number(s) and area code. Consumers who would like new or additional telephone numbers or telecommunications services may be given telephone numbers with the new 657 area code.

In approving the overlay, the PUC granted the request of the North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA) that the PUC approve an all-services overlay. NANPA holds overall responsibility for the neutral administration of telephone numbers in California, and had determined that the 714 area code is running out of whole prefixes (the first three digits after the area code). The coexistence of both the 657 and 714 area codes will provide additional numbering resources to the dwindling supply of telephone numbers, and will allow communications providers to meet the demand for telephone numbers.

"We have been successful in our number conservation measures, which extended the life of the 714 area code for several years," said PUC President Michael R. Peevey. "However, at this point conservation measures have run their course, and we must take action to meet the growing demand for telephone numbers."

All calls dialed within the 714 and the new 657 area code will require 10-digit dialing
(area code + seven digit number). Consumers may begin using this new dialing procedure five months from today. At the end of 11 months from today, consumers will be required to use the 10-digit dialing procedure. Therefore, the permissive dialing period is 6 months long, followed 30 days later by the start of issuing new 657 numbers.

"While 10-digit dialing takes some getting used to by consumers, we believe this action is necessary," added Commissioner Rachelle Chong. "Consumers will need to reprogram their stored telephone numbers on all their phones to add the 1 plus area code starting five months from today, and should do so no later than August 2008."

To help educate consumers about the new area code, the PUC established a public education program task force consisting of PUC staff and at least one representative from each service provider holding numbering resources in the 714 area code.

For more information on area codes, please visit www.cpuc.ca.gov/static/hottopics/2telco/areacodes.htm.

For more information on communications issues, please visit www.CalPhoneInfo.com.

For more information on the PUC, please visit www.cpuc.ca.gov.


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