Please dial ‘1’ plus the number

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Beginning April 21, Santa Clara County residents need to dial “1” plus the area code for all 408 area code calls.

This month starts up a six-month “permissive dialing period” when anyone calling a 408 area code are encouraged to dial “1” plus the area code then the seven-digit number when making a phone call. On Oct. 20, callers must use that same method, or the phone call will not go through.

The changes stem from the lack of available 408 phone numbers in Santa Clara County and the sequential approval of the new 669 area code by the California Public Utilities Commission in 2011.

No one will be required to change their existing phone numbers, as the 669 area code change applies only to new customers.

The 669 area code is expected to expire after 36 years in use, when it runs out of numbers.

The 408 area code (and soon the 669 area code) is most prevalent in Santa Clara County, along with some neighboring cities and small unincorporated portions of Alameda and Santa Cruz Counties. Cities in the 408 area code include San Jose, Campbell, Cupertino, Gilroy, Los Gatos, Milpitas, Monte Sereno, Morgan Hill, Santa Clara, Saratoga, Sunnyvale, and a portion of Palo Alto.

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.

Previously if dialing between 408 numbers, only the seven-digit phone number was needed.

Also, other changes and preservations about the 669 addition, according to Verizon:  

• What is a local call now, will remain a local call.

• Price of a call, the coverage area or other rates and services will not change due to the overlay.

• 911 and 411 remain the same, and you do not need to dial the area code.

• Everyone should identify their phone number as a 10-digit number when giving it out.

• Current phone numbers will not change, only newly added telephone numbers.

 

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