Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Westside Crybabies

There's panic on the coast, as Westsiders in the 310 area code are being led kicking and screaming to 10-digit dialing. Yup, in just a few weeks everyone in the 310 will have to start dialing "1-310" before punching in their neighbors' numbers. And under the new "overlay" plan, 310ers and 424ers will reside side-by-side in the region. Poor babies, as the L.A. Times notes that residents aren't quite ready:

After years of debate and delays, residents of the 310 will no longer be able to dial just seven digits to make local calls starting July 26. That milestone will be followed a month later with the overlay of the 424 area code. With 310 numbers being depleted, phone companies are set to begin distributing 424 numbers to new customers on Aug. 26.

The 310 zone is the first in California to get an overlay. Typically, regulators simply split areas when numbers begin to run out. But neither the Westside nor the South Bay wanted to give up the vaunted 310. State regulators approved the overlay last year, allowing existing phone customers to keep their 310 numbers.

If the 310-424 switch proves successful, overlays could be applied in other California area codes running out of numbers, including the 714 in Orange County, the 408 in San Jose and the 818 in the San Fernando Valley.

Oh, you whiny Westsi... wait a sec. 818? Us too? (Actually, I'd be perfectly fine with Glendale scoring its own area code.)

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