PUC adopts new area code boundaries
As of Nov. 1, Truckee’s area code will be 530. On June 11, the California Public Utilities Commission adopted final boundaries for the geographic split of the old 916 area code, giving Truckee, Tahoe City and South Lake Tahoe the new code.Introduction of the 530 area code – number 18 in the state – is needed to meet rapidly growing demand for additional phone numbers within the 916 area code. Competition in California’s local telephone service market and an increased demand for high-technology are driving the need for more phone numbers.From automated teller machines at the bank and pay-at-the-pump services stations to pagers, facsimile machines and super market pay point terminals, telephone numbers are being used up, said Nancy Ray, Pacific Bell public affairs director.”There is a telephone number associated with each one of those pay-points so the computer can recognize where the sale is coming from,” she said. “Think of how many gas stations are in Northern California – with all these things going on, the 916 area code is winding down.”Doug Hescox, California code administrator, said a six-month get acquainted dialing period will begin Nov. 1, when residents calling from outside the area can use the 530 or 916 area codes. Also for six months starting Nov. 1, customers can call between the two area codes using seven-digit dialing.”We are, however, urging people to begin using the new 530 area code right away to get used to the change,” Hescox said.New boundariesThe 916 area code will continue to serve existing 916 customers in Sacramento County; south Placer communities of Roseville, Loomis, Rocklin, Newcastle, Lincoln, Penryn and Pleasant Grove; El Dorado Hills in El Dorado County; and West Sacramento in Yolo County.Customers in 23 counties become part of the 530 area code. This includes 916 customers in the following counties: Nevada, Alpine, Yuba, Colusa, Sierra, Butte, Glenn, Plumas, Tehama, Lassen, Shasta, Trinity, Modoc and Siskiyou counties. Several other counties, however, will be serviced by both codes: Placer, El Dorado, Yolo and Sutter.In addition, a small portion of customers in Mono, Solano, Mendocino, Lake and Humboldt counties will be serviced by the new area code.Coalition recommendationsA coalition of 30 telephone service-related businesses – including AT&T, Sprint, Roseville Telephone, Volcano Telephone and GTE – formed to make recommendations to the CPUC regarding the proposed code split earlier this year, Ray said.For about nine months the coalition met before presenting a boundary plan to the PUC, Ray said. Its proposal concluded Sacramento County, a portion of Yolo County including West Sacramento and an area of Western Placer County serviced by Roseville Telephone should remain 916.CPUC reviewed the proposed boundary split in February and April after objections were raised by several telecommunications industry and government officials, which resulted in the commission approving two change of petition requests.Both petitions sought to keep areas in south Placer and El Dorado counties in the 916 boundary.Price impactsThe addition of the new area code will not affect the price of telephone calls or customers’ current seven digit phone numbers.”What is a local call now will remain a local call regardless of the area code change,” Hescox said. “Call distance and time determine the cost of a call, not whether you dial an area code.”Also, only the area code portion of customers’ number will change (not the seven digit number).”
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