Telephone Switching > Exchange Names, Area Codes etc

Area codes

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It's not like the concept of equipment-based area codes (number planning areas or NPA's in telcospeak) wasn't considered.  I asked this same question when area code splitting started to get crazy in the 1990's and the decision was made to allow overlays, or using two different NPA's for the same geographic area.  Overlays are why a lot of people have to dial 10 digits just to call next door.  It makes way more sense to me to have cell and fax numbers get the new weird "area" codes that don't have a 0 or a 1 in the middle.  Area code splits are inconvenient and could be reduced or have a much smaller impact on home and business land lines if the telecom industry had gone with an equipment-based approach.

I live in Rhode Island, where there is only one area code (4010 and you can dial anywhere in the state with 7 digits, even if it is a toll call.  We'll see how long that lasts.

Ah, the good old days of 7 digits even across area codes.  Here in the SF Bay Area, even though we had a whole two area codes as recently as 1990, we could still dial into a different area code with only 7 digits because prefixes were at the time area code specific.  So you wouldn't find a 415 prefix in the 408 area.  Once the splits started and prefixes were duplicated, we had to dial all 10 digits.

For a while we could dial into towns bordering RI in the Massachusetts 508 area code with 7 digits.  Now you can't dial anywhere within MA without 11 digits.  If you call the next county over within the same area code it is a toll call.

Ten digits? Eleven digits? This reminds me of one of my pet peeves about the way dialling is handled today.

I live in the 480 area code. Right next door is the 602 area code. If I dial a 602 number, and put a "1" in front of it, an automated voice comes on and tells me "You are not required to dial a 1 for this call." Then I have to hang up and start all over again.

Now c'mon. If you're smart enough to realize what I have done, and what is needed, then just go ahead and delete the "1" and dial the darn call!

It works the other way, too. If I am calling farther away, and I neglect to dial the "1", the automated voice comes on and says "You must first dial a 1 to place this call." And my reaction again is - if a "1" is needed, and you know it's needed, then go ahead and stick one in. Just dial my darn call!

Anyone else get annoyed by this? Anyone know the reason for it? And why don't we just get rid of the whole leading "1" thing entirely? After all, it made sense only in the old days, when you would dial "1" to indicate that you wanted a station-to-station call, and a "0" would indicate a person-to-person call.

To the best of my knowledge, person-to-person calling no longer exists. All calls are station-to-station, so there is no need to dial a leading "1" to specify it.



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