Residents get the 411 on the 818 area code crisis

first_imgFacing a dwindling number of available phone numbers for a growing number of San Fernando Valley residents, California officials began holding a series of public hearings Monday on how to introduce a new 747 area code within the 818. Officials are weighing whether the Valley should be split into two zones – one area keeping 818 and the other getting 747 – or whether to “overlay” 747 across the region by assigning the new area code only to new users. Michael Evans, a regulations analyst for the PUC, said that if a new area code is not introduced, the Valley will run out of available phone numbers by summer or fall of 2009. But some at the Glendale City Hall meeting said they were concerned about how the change could affect them. “I think an overlay code is a nightmare,” she said. “How many numbers do I need to dial to call the person right next door to you?” Jim Bottoms owns three moving companies, with a dozen trucks between them, and said he does not like the prospect of an area code change. “It would be expensive – you got to change all your paperwork, all your trucks, and I’m sure there’s a lot of things I’m not even thinking about,” he said in an interview after the meeting. Officials expect to make a decision next year on how to introduce the new 747 area code in the Valley. More information on the proposed area code change is available at www.cpuc.ca.gov. alex.dobuzinskis@dailynews.com (818) 546-3304 Area code meetings The Public Utilities Commission will hold public meetings this week on a new area code for the San Fernando Valley: 1:30 p.m. today at the Las Virgenes Water District headquarters, 4232 Las Virgenes Road, Calabasas; 7 tonight at San Fernando City Hall, 117 N. Macneil St.; and 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Marvin Braude Constituent Service Center, 6262 Van Nuys Blvd., Van Nuys.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.John Zachman, a 35-year Glendale resident, urged the PUC to let him keep his 818 by adopting the overlay option. “I belong to the 818 community, if you will,” Zachman said. “All my friends know me as the 818 community.” Because the overlay method would assign 747 to any new numbers, it could lead to a situation in which a household with multiple phone lines could have one with the 818 area code and another with the 747, officials said. The overlay method also would require callers to dial the full area code plus phone number for all calls – even within their own area code. Bridget Oberlin, an actress from North Hollywood, said the Valley should adopt an area-code split, with the east part of the Valley getting the 818. last_img read more

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