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CPUC: Marin Could Get a New Area Code

The commission is considering switching part of the 415 area code to the new 628 code, or assign it to new phone numbers. A hearing is set for Jan. 17 in San Rafael.

The California Public Utilities Commission has begun a process that will allow it to add a new area code in the current 415 area code zone, a move that could force Marin residents to switch area codes.

The CPUC is considering adding a 628 area code because all of the available three-digit prefixes in the 415 area code will be used up by October 2015.

When there are no more prefixes available for assignment, more numbers must be made available, and this means the addition of another area code, the CPUC said in a fact sheet on its website.

The 415 area code is currently used in San Francisco, most of Marin County and parts of San Mateo County. The Federal Communications Commission's North American Numbering Plan Administration and the CPUC determine the best way to introduce the new area code through a lengthy planning process.

The CPUC can either divide the 415 area into two parts, forcing some residents to switch area codes, or assign the new 628 area code to new numbers, CPUC spokesman Christopher Chow said. The decision will be made after public hearings and reviews of written comments.

Chow said the process will probably take a year to complete. The new code must be introduced at least six months before the existing code uses up all its prefixes, according to the CPUC.

The CPUC has scheduled public hearings on the matter for Jan. 16 at its auditorium in San Francisco and on Jan. 17 at the San Rafael City Council chambers.

--Bay City News Service

Rico December 13, 2012 at 02:07 AM
I don't think this a good idea for many reasons. It is based on a sudden population explosion due to ABAG's pipe dreams.Marin's population grew by less than 1% (except Novato) in the last 10 years. Perhaps this new area code might be needed in Novato that has always been served by a separate phone company from the rest of Marin. Novato is where 99% of the growth has been in Marin in the last 10 years, Novato is served by Verizon (formerly GT&E), it's always been that way. Certainly the population growth in central, southern and west Marin is not going to be much at all, so add a few new prefixes, there are plenty more combinations available to serve a few thousand new land lines.And now, with so many people scrapping their traditional land line telephones, the mobile carrirers have there own unique set of prefixes. How about they assign this new area code to mobile phone accounts only ? That would be the best solution. With the population declining and use of mobile phones and devices exploding, force the new area code on them. I have two old Mill Valley land line phone numbers, both are the 388 prefix, that used to be the original Dunlap 8 exchange (switch), I will never give up my classic DU8 numbers, even if I move ! Leave it to the CPUC to screw things up, They are one agency to keep a close eye on, and are in bed with PG&E and their SmartMeters.
Rico December 13, 2012 at 04:04 AM
I think that this new area code (if approved) will be for the Verizon customers in the North Bay. Verizon has their own phone book that says, Novato and southern Sonoma County. It would be easy to implement this new area code and call it "628-North Bay". I doubt that any of us in Marin will be targeted with this new area code except Novato. It wasn't until 1996 that Novato listings were included in the Marin phone book, they have always had a separate phone book and cable TV company. I do appreciate the Patch for running this article based on the information available to them, but I don't think that we in central, southern or west Marin have anything to worry about. We are not growing, but no doubt, Novato is.

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