2017-06-15 / Letters

We don’t need a new area code

Last week the California Public Utilities Commission approved a new 820 area code to be “overlaid” on top of our existing 805 area code—using the same tactic that was implemented on our neighboring 818 area, which received the 747 area code as an overlay a couple of years back.

Once implemented, folks in the 805 area code will be required to dial 11 digits to place all calls. Last summer, three public hearings were held in the three affected counties. I attended and spoke at the Oxnard meeting.

While I recognize that the new area code is a not life-threatening hardship for phone users in the 805 area, I maintain that an overlay code simply isn’t necessary. There are hundreds of thousands of unassigned numbers in the 805 code. There are many prefixes that contain few, if any, working telephone numbers.

For example, let us take the case of Piru, with a population of 2,063. Piru has three dedicated prefixes, meaning there are at least 29,000 telephone numbers available in Piru. That breaks out to 14 telephone numbers for every person, including infants and children. That is absurd.

Simi Valley’s 629 prefix has never been assigned to my knowledge and is simply being hoarded. And there is an 851 prefix in which every single telephone number is directed to the very same “hoot and holler” chat line of sorts.

The overlay is unnecessary in my opinion. There needs to be a deep-dive audit by the CPUC in order to affirm that the new code is actually needed.

We were told that some cellular devices, like parking meters and alarms, each need a telephone number. Upon investigation, I learned these devices use an ESN (serial number) to transmit data. They rarely use a 10-digit traditional telephone number.

I hope the CPUC will take a thorough look at the matter. I am quite certain that a telephone number recovery and audit project could eliminate the need for this inconvenience.

If you share my feelings, please reach out to the CPUC and our elected state officials and request an audit.

Matthew Dorros
Simi Valley

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