Tuesday, January 27, 2009

HB 215: A litlle too late

In case you hadn't heard, you'll have to start dialing 10 digits to call your next door neighbor starting this March.

Cricket Wireless subscribers have had to do it since last June. And, since the Legislature is still in session, someone wants to change it:

The Public Service Commission says, starting March 1, all phone calls in Utah must include dialing 10 digits. Also, all new phone numbers will have the 385 area code, regardless of city.

Rep. Jim Dunnigan is worried about that 10-digit dialing, especially for seniors and children.

"Now we are going to tell them, it's not enough to memorize seven numbers, you have to memorize 10, and is it 801 or is it 385," he said.

Dunnigan is sponsoring House Bill 215 to assign the new area code by geography, like 435.

The PSC made the decision to overlay the new area code in 2007.

I like this bill, in principle. However, given the late date, it seems a little late. It's coming a little too fast to change things now.

However, there does need to be information coming out about this. As much as I hate being reminded of the switch to digital television on Feb 17, At least you can't say you didn't know. And only a small portion of the population will be affected.

But how many of you know you'll have to dial ten digits when making a phone call in a month?




Misty Fowler said...

I knew that you would have to dial 10 digits. This bill doesn't make much sense at this point in time. I talked to a friend in management at Qwest, and he said he's pretty sure that on March 1, the callers will be told to dial the 801 area code. Children shouldn't be dialing without parental supervision, anyway but it will take them all of 30 seconds to get used to it. As for seniors, I don't think the transition will be too difficult. 385 won't be in use as of March 1, and most seniors probably write numbers down rather than memorize them.

Jesse Harris said...

The new area code has actually been on area code maps as pending for at least 5 years now. The PSC, though, has done a really crappy job at letting people know. That's probably because the implementation date has slipped or been postponed several times already.

The bigger concern is that NANPA typically doesn't allow for multi-county overlays like this, nor does it assign area codes to non-contiguous areas. If the plan for 385 doesn't conform, it could cause some serious allocation problems. All of this highlights why we need more techies up on the hill.

derekstaff said...

I knew about it. But then, I'm a librarian. I'm paid to be omniscient. I haven't seen much effort by authorities to publicize the change.