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Marin Could Get a New Area Code

Commission is considering switching part of the 415 area code to the new 628 code, or assign it to new phone numbers. A hearing is set for Jan. 17 in San Rafael.

By Bay City News Service

 The California Public Utilities Commission has begun a process that will allow it to add a new area code in the current 415 area code zone, a move that could force Marin residents to switch area codes.

The CPUC is considering adding a 628 area code because all of the available three-digit prefixes in the 415 area code will be used up by October 2015.

When there are no more prefixes available for assignment, more numbers must be made available, and this means the addition of another area code, the CPUC said in a fact sheet on its website.

The 415 area code is currently used in San Francisco, most of Marin County and parts of San Mateo County. The Federal Communications Commission's North American Numbering Plan Administration and the CPUC determine the best way to introduce the new area code through a lengthy planning process.

The CPUC can either divide the 415 area into two parts, forcing some residents to switch area codes, or assign the new 628 area code to new numbers, CPUC spokesman Christopher Chow said. The decision will be made after public hearings and reviews of written comments.

Chow said the process will probably take a year to complete. The new code must be introduced at least six months before the existing code uses up all its prefixes, according to the CPUC.

The CPUC has scheduled public hearings on the matter for Jan. 16 at its auditorium in San Francisco and on Jan. 17 at the San Rafael City Council chambers.

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Greg Yates December 13, 2012 at 10:07 PM
Bad idea for existing business and people. Let the new users foot the burden of the 628 change NOT us.
Bill December 14, 2012 at 02:47 AM
Why not switch all 415 cell phones to AC 628. This would be less disruptive to businesses and other land line users.
Craig Belfor December 14, 2012 at 08:02 AM
Bill-that's a great idea. Most cell phone people never change their number even when they move across country, so a weird prefix will not bother them. This will free up the numbers for land lines that need them. all cell phones could do this, and save the overlay vs new prefix debate.
Rico December 15, 2012 at 04:42 AM
I was wondering if there are any long time Novato residents who remember if Novato ever had an exchange name like the rest of the cities and towns in Marin did ? I have lived in Marin for 50 years, and I remember all the exchange names that were listed in the Marin phone books, but Novato was never listed in the Marin phone book until 1996. I do remember the original prefix in Novato, it was 892, so, did Novato ever have an exchange name ? If nobody knows, then I will gather that Novato never had an exchange name. And, a prefix is not an area code, like some media reporters think. A prefix is the first 3 numbers of a 7 digit phone number, before that a phone number was just 4 digits. I know that some people are not interested, but I have been interested in phones since I was a wee lad (about 5 years old). I am also interested in Marin history, so please, someone let me know about Novato's GT&E original phone system. Thank you.

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