Welcome to “the 669”

It’s finally come to pass. Thirty years ago when “Ma Bell” was broken up to form the regional Bell operating companies, my step-dad claimed it was only a matter of time until we’d need to dial 11 digits to call someone at the other end of the block. Starting today (October 20, 2012), South Bay residents in the 408 area code are required to dial 11 digits (1 plus 408 plus a phone number) to reach other 408 phone numbers. We’ve come a long way from asking the operator for “CYpress 7 1234”.

The new dialing procedure is being enforced to make way for a new area code, 669, which will cover the exact same geographic region as 408. This “overlay” was approved by the California Public Utilities Commission one year ago, when it was predicted that 408 would run out of new phone numbers by January, 2013.

Phone service providers will begin to issue new 669 phone numbers starting on November 20.

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