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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The 5-7-0

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, last week, made the best choice from a list of two bad options.

The experts say the 570 area code will run out of numbers next year.  There were two options-- split the 570 area code into two, or keep the same boundaries, but assign new numbers a new area code.  They chose the latter, which means ten digit dialing beginning next year.

It'll take a little getting used to, but we'll live.  I have one of those Magic Jacks, which already requires ten digits for all calls.  I don't think my adjustment will be that bad.

Of course, there is another option-- make what we have last longer.  There's an attempt underway to do that.  If memory serves, phone numbers were sold to cell phone companies and pager companies, etc.,  in blocks of 1,000-- whether or not they needed all 1,000.  Now, you can buy a smaller number of numbers.   That should stretch the supply a bit.  I don't know how long it takes to assign old numbers to new customers.  Perhaps that could be shortened a bit.

Ten digit dialing was inevitable.

The changes take place in March.  As of this writing, the new area code has yet to be determined.