Skip to comments.Some Californians set to begin 11-digit dialing
Posted on 07/23/2006 4:15:21 PM PDT by South40
click here to read article
It all started with the damn ZIP Codes. Now the end is near!!
We still have speed-dialing/auto-dial.
We've been doing that in Houston for quite some time. Looks like California is behind the times. :-P
(Go Israel, Go! Slap 'Em, Down Hezbullies.)
There's a reason for that. The dramatic growth in computer-based communication in the last 10 years (e-mail, instant messaging, teleconferencing, etc.) has rendered the fax machine nearly obsolete. This has slowed down the growth in demand for new phone numbers in most metropolitan areas.
I'm not even sure why it's such a big deal for people who don't like this 11-digit dialing anyway. So many people place phone calls these days using pre-set/memory dialing that pressing each individual digit is becoming a thing of the past, too.
I think we started doing this in Dallas back in about '98 or '99.
Wonder why they have to dial 11 digits. Here in Houston, with three area codes (713, 281, and 832), we still only have to dial 10.
I live just 22 miles from the center of Houston and all calls to Houston are long distance. Even the next town, only 5 miles away is long distance.
We've had 10-digit dialing in Orlando since 1999, when we got our second area code (321) to join the previously existing 407. I thought California was supposed to be ahead of the rest of the country in everything.
You might have three area codes, but if you don't need to dial 11 digits all the time this means that these area codes still have some kind of geographic basis. In places where area codes are "overlayed," a new area code is introduced that includes places that already have their own area code -- and the new area code is used for all new phones from that point on. So a home with two different phone numbers could theoretically have two different area codes for its phones.
I have to dial the 1 first from landlines but can do straight 10-digit dialing from a cell phone.
The opposite is also true. There are some rural parts of the country where an area code covers an enormous region, and many calls within that area code can be "long distance" if they are made to points that are far away.
Growing up in Colorado in the 70s, we only dialed 4 numbers. Many folks still had party lines.
Brrrring... "Hello? Hold on, I have to dial eleven digits."
Communication skills today are atrocious.
My relatives in the DC metro area have been doing that for a while, too. Forever between Maryland, DC, and Virginia, and for a couple years now to everyone else in the Virginia 'burbs.
Also, about ten years ago, there were several phone outages in Northern VA, where you could still call DC and MD, but not anyone else in Virginia. Then it was announced that local in-state calls would go through if one did use the area code.
Everywhere I have lived since then, anytime there are phone system problems, I try dialing the area code first with local numbers to see if I can find a circuit to get my call through thataway.
This happened around Chicago a while ago.
No one will notice. You only need update your phone directory once.
713 and 281 are geographical - at least as regards landlines - but 832 is an overlay here.
We are still only dialing 7 locally here in STL..
Does anyone still pay for long distance calls on an individual basis? Here I've got unlimited long distance.
Los Angeles was a lot bigger so since the mid 1939s our number was OLympia 8388 and it was later changed to NOrmandy 48388 and when they instituted area codes they made it 213-664-8388.
Actually, we're up to three hours behind.
The flip side on this is the cell phone explosion... It not really land lines numbers but cell numbers that are eating up area codes... we would have been better off to have cell and land lines have different not intermixed areacodes/prefix like some other country do
So let say you have 310 as an area code... 310 would only be given to land lines ... but if you have a cell in the same area you would has a 3 digit cell network "area code" prefix that would only be for cell phones
The whole idea behind area codes is for a hierarchal routing system or "address" for the call
Just think, if computers could have been programmed to just add one more digit at the end of all numbers, there would be no need to dial 11 digits.
LOL, those old "word" prefixes. We had POplar and DIamond.
Same growing up in Western NC - we had one long ring - two short rings was the other side of the party line. Back when dirt was new... *g
If Mayberry gets another area code, does that mean that the phone company has to hire someone to help Sara?
11? Most of Texas is 10 digit dialing. Where is the extra digit?
at least in that era I knew exactly where anyone was by what their prefix was anywhere in L.A. or Orange County.
What really started to make thing dificult is when they started switching from manual relays to digital relays that took up about 10% of the space and numbers could be changed, hooked up, or disconnected with a simple computer entry.
They took entire areas, shut down the entire system for switch over and you got new numbers from a switching facility that had been converted already.
After they did that you couldn't keep track of where the numbers were.
It was about the same time that they broke up ATT and Pac Bell because we worked on every telephone company building ib L.A. putting in deviding walls so ATT employees couldn't get to Pac Bell employees, what a joke!
My question exactly. Where is the 11th digit coming from?
"How long ago was that switch to 7 in LA?"
It was in the late 1940s as I remember.
In Texas it's 10 digit dialing.
True, but I hear about more and more people who are now using their cell phones as their ONLY phone -- and simply doing away with the land line altogether.
You need to spend some time in some competent telecom books. Pay attention to the development of the switching network and dialing plans. The choice of 7 digit number was made because that's the ideal number for humans to remember. Early in the life of the network, the second digit of the 3 digit prefix disallowed the use of digits 0 and 1. That is how the area codes were discerned. The needs for additional numbers and the advent of electronic switching allowed the use of 0 or 1 in the second digit. That expanded the available phone numbers in an area code, but required dialing a country code first. The country code for the United States is conveniently "1".
Area code splits are a hell of a lot of work. I've worked a bunch of them during the years at PacBell. Doing an overlay is comparatively simple.
I remember when they did it in Los Angeles from 6 to 7 digits to increase the numbers.
You're old enough to remember that point in time. The original switching machines were designed for numbers in the range of 0000->9999. The digits above that were used to select the outgoing trunks to another switching office. The "magic" 3 digit area code with 1 or 0 as the second digit did the long distance mapping from area code to area code. The next 3 digits did the end office selection. The last 4 digits mapped to a customer line.
That sounds like such a good idea, but if you have more than 2 people living in a house, and the main two are gone, with their cells, the others are left w/o a phone.
Area codes were instituted way back when rotary phones were "state-of-the-art," so they were assigned in a way that allowed the largest number of users to take the least amount of time to dial the numbers. All area codes back then had a 1 or 0 as the middle digit. The largest cities were assigned area codes with a 1 in the middle and with low numbers as the first and third digits -- since these would dial the fastest on a rotary phone (it took several moments to dial a 9 or a 0 back then, when you had to wait for the dial to rotate all the way back into place before dialing the next number).
This is how New York City ended up with an area code of 212 -- the area code that dialed faster than any other on the old rotary phones. Los Angeles (213) and Chicago (312) were next in line in terms of "dial speed" followed by Detroit (313), Dallas (214), Pittsburgh (412), St. Louis (314), etc. Notice how the original area codes for many of the large cities in the country all had a "1" in the middle -- including Philadelphia (215), Cleveland (216), Indianapolis (317), Milwaukee (414), San Francisco (415), Toronto, Ontario (416), etc.
Conversely, most area codes with a 0 in the middle and high numbers for the first and third digits were very rural (or had very limited phone service) at the time these area codes were put in place. The most cumbersome area code to dial was the one for the "Inland Empire" of California (909), followed by others like central New Jersey (908), the Dominican Republic (809), Hawaii (808), Alaska (907), Newfoundland (709), western Ontario (807), and the area that is now Chicago's southern suburbs (708).
People are very aware of the 310 area code, said Darren Lewis, a manager in the music industry who works in Santa Monica. It has a cachet.
LOL! Somehow, Mr. Lewis, I think you'll live through this.
Now, if Lewis adds another phone line to his office, it will start with 424, which he expects will confuse the many people he deals with on the East Coast.
People are going to wonder where you are, he said.
Eventually they'll figure it out. Buck up, cowboy! It ain't the end of the world.
I think Ca-li-for-nee-uh has 41 area codes now, 7 in the SF bay area alone.
11? Most of Texas is 10 digit dialing. Where is the extra digit?
I formerly worked in the yellow pages industry. If I understand it correctly, in California, they dial 1 before the number, even if it is a local call. They have not had 10 digit dialing up until now.
Someone mentioned 713 & 281 in Houston as being a geographical split. When Houston and Dallas got new area codes in the mid 90's, there was originally a geographic split. Houston inside of Beltway 8 kept 713, while outlying areas got the new 281. Same in Dallas, where everything inside of LBJ Freeway kept 214, and the outlying areas got 972. After a few years, in an attempt to preserve phone numbers, those imaginary boundaries were removed, and 713/281 and 214/972 were overlaid on top of each other. In addition, 832 was overlaid on top of 713/281, and 469 was overlaid on top of 214/972.
In Houston, it is possible to have a 713 number for your landline, a 281 number for your fax line, and an 832 number for your cell phone. Same in Dallas with 214/972/469.
" The choice of 7 digit number was made because that's the ideal number for humans to remember."
Those people shouldn't have telephones.
I probably know 20 phone #s that I use, my SS#, bank account #s, etc. and never write any of them down.