By Bay City News Service
The California Public Utilities Commission is holding public hearings in San Rafael on Thursday on plans to add a new area code to the current "415" area code zone.
In light of projections that all of the available three-digit prefixes in the 415 area code will be used up by October 2015, the CPUC is beginning the process of introducing a new area code – 628 – to the region.
The commission is holding public meetings to get input on the plan.
The first two meetings were held at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Wednesday at the CPUC Auditorium at 505 Van Ness Ave. in San Francisco and included a presentation to local and elected officials. Public comment was not solicited until the 7 p.m. hearing, CPUC spokesman Christopher Chow said.
On Thursday, the CPUC is holding public meetings at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. in San Rafael City Council chambers at 1400 Fifth Ave. in San Rafael.
The CPUC can choose to either split the 415 region into two parts, forcing some residents to switch area codes, or assign the new 628 area code only to new numbers, which is called an overlay.
Representatives of the North American Numbering Plan Administrator, a neutral third-party area code relief planner for the state, met in September with service providers to discuss the options, and the industry consensus was to implement the overlay plan, according to the CPUC.
The 415 area code covers San Francisco and Marin.
People unable to attend the meetings can submit written comments to the CPUC public advisor's office at 320 W. Fourth St., Suite 500, Los Angeles, CA 90013, or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Comments can also be submitted online at www.cpuc.ca.gov/415.
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