LOS ANGELES, CA — The Joint Telecommunications Carriers (JTC), a consortium of landline and wireless telecommunications providers in Southern California, today announced that residential and business customers with 310 phone numbers should begin preparing for the introduction of the 424 area code. Beginning December 31, 2005 people in the 310 area code should start dialing 1+ the area code + seven digit number when making all their calls.
This new dialing procedure must be used starting July 26, 2006 by everyone with phone numbers with 310 or 424 area codes.
The 424 area code is being added to the 310 region to ensure businesses and consumers have access to numbers from their carrier of choice. An area code overlay is the addition of another area code (e.g., 424) to the same geographic region served by an existing area code (e.g., 310).
The most important things consumers and businesses need to know about the area code overlay are:
- All customers who have a 310 area code phone number today will keep the 310 area code;
- Phone numbers with the new 424 area code may be issued beginning August 26, 2006;
- Beginning December 31, 2005, all customers in the 310 area code should develop new dialing habits and dial 1 before the area code and seven-digit number when making calls;
- Between December 31, 2005 and July 25, 2006 calls will be completed regardless of whether the old or new dialing procedure is used;
- Beginning July 26, 2006 customers in the 310 area code must use the new dialing procedure for all calls. After this date, if they do not use the new dialing procedure the call will not be completed and a recording will instruct callers to hang up and dial again;
- Adding 1 and the area code when dialing calls, and the ultimate addition of the new 424 area code, does not change the cost of the call; calls that are in a consumer's local calling area continue to remain local calls; and
- Consumers can still dial three digits to reach 911, 211, 311, 411, 511, 611, and 711.
In addition to changing their dialing procedure, customers are encouraged to begin reprogramming their automatic dialing equipment, and all other types of equipment that are currently programmed with only seven-digits on a 310 phone number. All such devices will need to be reprogrammed with the new dialing procedure prior to July 26, 2006. Examples of programmed equipment and features include: life safety systems, fax machines, Internet dial-up numbers, alarm and security systems, gates, speed dialers, call forwarding settings, voicemail services, and similar functions.
Over the past ten years, telecommunications carriers successfully implemented more than 50 area code overlays throughout the U.S. to make telephone numbers available to meet growing demand.
For more information, please visit: your service provider's web site or www.cpuc.ca.gov/310overlay.