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Tue Feb 26, 2013, 10:59 PM

Do Phone Number "Area Codes" Actually Matter Anymore?

I was exchanging e-mail, not phone messages oddly enough given my post's topic, with a friend of mine who I knew in Miami when I lived there. Now he lives in Dallas but retains his old 305 area-code phone number. One of my friends moved from Oregon to another state and still retains his 503 area-code number. I have a 503 number and if I moved I'd keep it because so many people have that number in their contacts lists and it's a perfectly good number so I see no reason to try to start remembering a new one.

So my random thoughts and ramblings right now are that area codes are not area codes anymore. We just have 10-digit numbers that identify us no matter where we are. Especially if that number is tied to a cell phone.

I Bet that's putting some tin-foil hats on more than a few people. Does anyone have a "666" area code? That'd be really fun to have just to tweak some people.

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Reply Do Phone Number "Area Codes" Actually Matter Anymore? (Original post)
dballance Feb 2013 OP
NV Whino Feb 2013 #1
proud2BlibKansan Feb 2013 #43
NV Whino Feb 2013 #45
TeeYiYi Feb 2013 #50
NV Whino Feb 2013 #54
customerserviceguy Feb 2013 #2
Go Vols Feb 2013 #16
customerserviceguy Feb 2013 #35
snooper2 Feb 2013 #3
dballance Feb 2013 #4
snooper2 Feb 2013 #12
Recursion Feb 2013 #22
snooper2 Feb 2013 #29
Recursion Feb 2013 #32
snooper2 Feb 2013 #33
freshwest Feb 2013 #5
Mariana Feb 2013 #10
freshwest Feb 2013 #11
Mariana Feb 2013 #13
TexasProgresive Feb 2013 #14
tabbycat31 Feb 2013 #47
TDale313 Feb 2013 #6
dballance Feb 2013 #8
SharonAnn Feb 2013 #27
snooper2 Feb 2013 #24
KatyMan Feb 2013 #28
Ruby the Liberal Feb 2013 #7
kestrel91316 Feb 2013 #9
Jersey Devil Feb 2013 #40
LWolf Feb 2013 #15
dembotoz Feb 2013 #17
MineralMan Feb 2013 #18
Gorp Feb 2013 #19
snooper2 Feb 2013 #25
Gorp Feb 2013 #26
snooper2 Feb 2013 #30
pipi_k Feb 2013 #20
Skraxx Feb 2013 #21
Iggo Feb 2013 #23
krispos42 Feb 2013 #31
Pab Sungenis Feb 2013 #57
Chipper Chat Feb 2013 #34
dballance Feb 2013 #37
Chipper Chat Feb 2013 #48
dballance Feb 2013 #59
hobbit709 Feb 2013 #36
Jersey Devil Feb 2013 #41
dembotoz Feb 2013 #42
hobbit709 Feb 2013 #44
dembotoz Feb 2013 #55
Sen. Walter Sobchak Feb 2013 #38
trof Feb 2013 #39
Marrah_G Feb 2013 #46
tabbycat31 Feb 2013 #49
libodem Feb 2013 #51
MuseRider Feb 2013 #52
Jamaal510 Feb 2013 #53
Pab Sungenis Feb 2013 #56
Hard Assets Feb 2013 #58

Response to dballance (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 11:03 PM

1. I find it annoying when people keep their old area codes

It means a long distance call for me when I call them.

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Response to NV Whino (Reply #1)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 10:27 AM

43. Who still pays long distance fees?

Haven't paid those in years since we got rid of our land line.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Reply #43)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 10:33 AM

45. I still pay them

Because I live in a rural area and have no cell phone service at my house. I could of course, could drive a couple of miles down the road, stand out on the point and use my cell phone. But that's a little inconvenient.

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Response to NV Whino (Reply #45)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 12:56 PM

50. Your landline doesn't offer unlimited long distance? ...nt

TYY

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Response to TeeYiYi (Reply #50)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 01:26 PM

54. I go through CREDO

It costs me anywhere from $8 to $18 a month. Usually on the low end because work is so slow and I'm not calling my clients as often. And most often I communicate by e-mail.

The person who irritates me is a contractor who has kept his old (long distance) phone number and doesn't read his e-mail. That's when my bill goes up.

Also I live in an archaic area where it is long distance to call 30 miles down the road. Te joys of country living.

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Response to dballance (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 11:04 PM

2. With portability of phone numbers

area codes don't matter much anymore. I took my 360 Washington state area code number with me when I moved here, but that's just so my folks wouldn't have to pay toll charges to call me up.

Of course, most people with cell phones don't spend a second thinking about toll charges any more, so perhaps that's a relic of the landline days.

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Response to customerserviceguy (Reply #2)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 08:45 AM

16. Do some landline companies

still charge for long distance? I haven't paid long distance in prolly 15 years,"free" to US and Canada on my landline.

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Response to Go Vols (Reply #16)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 07:19 AM

35. We still have a landline

And we pay a flat fee of about $25 for unlimited long distance. Not sure what other companies do.

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Response to dballance (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 11:04 PM

3. There is no 666 area code, yes they have meanings..

There are porting requirements that carriers must abide to...

Cell companies have more leaway than landline/traditional telecom providers do. A key point around this is of course 911.

Google search "selective router 911"
Google search "foreign exchange numbers"
add FCC if you want legal guidlines..

Yes, area codes do matter.....It's actually called the NPA, the next three digits represent the NXX..all on the intertubes if you are curious

On edit, I probably just should have said look at the NANP (North American Numbering Plan)

http://www.nanpa.com/

Any other questions just ask... Want to hear what a big pain in the ass is? When some city gets permission to do a rate center split

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Response to snooper2 (Reply #3)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 11:24 PM

4. Thanks. I Worked in the Third-Party Call-Center Services for Years

I'm familiar with NPA-NXX. I am a computer, networking and telecom geek All that used to be really important when we were negotiating contracts with our long-distance carriers. Remember Wil-Tell? "Glass Encased in Steel" was their tag line I think. Because they ran fiber through a bunch of existing oil pipelines.

Given how so many cell phones have the ability to be located by GPS now and how so many websites or apps on my iPhone want to use that information to locate me it seems 9-11 services should be adapting to do the same now if they aren't already. I haven't kept up on that front so I am certainly out of date on what's happening in that area.

I'll have to do the search on "selective router 911." I'm going to bet it tells me how my 9-11 call is routed to a local emergency response organization based on where I am rather than to the emergency organization in my "home" area-code. That's because there are a lot of people who are much smarter than me and have already tackled this issue.

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Response to dballance (Reply #4)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 11:48 PM

12. I started at Worldcom right after they picked up WillTel



Moved from Missery to Dallas after MFS was acquired. I think that was with fake money....

The wikipedia write-up on 911 is pretty good. GPS tracking of people for 911, we're getting there

There's a reason if you get a soft client/SIP app on your tablet 911 won't work. For others reading this. The center that actually answers your 911 call is known as a PSAP.

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Response to snooper2 (Reply #3)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 10:18 AM

22. Makes me miss my wardialing days

I still make a habit of learning the alphabetic for whatever exchange my landline is on.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #22)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:11 AM

29. I've been in telecom a long time, nobody uses the word "exchange" :P

It's called a rate center, or wire-center,

And yes those can overlap, and yes customers get pissed because the say, Why can't I keep my same number, I'm only moving down the STREET LOL...Then we say, that's what RCF is for...pay me

For interconnected VoIP services and traditional TDM PRI, BBLs, etc,. the selective router serving a given rate center or rate centers is key to what you can do with TN and porting of TN. The FCC provides for some leeway if a user was ported across rate centers by a previous carrier.

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Response to snooper2 (Reply #29)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:25 AM

32. Fair enough.

I only got into dialing discipline when I started supporting VOIP. It's fascinating.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #32)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:48 AM

33. wireshark is your friend for VoIP :)

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Response to dballance (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 11:24 PM

5. IDK about a 666 area code, but once worked in the 666 exchange. That was in more enlightened times.

No one was freaking out about it at all...


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Response to freshwest (Reply #5)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 11:45 PM

10. My parents had a 666 exchange for years

They got that number in 1978. My dad worked for the phone company at the time he said a huge number of the local churchgoing people flatly refused to accept a number that started with 666. They got an alternate exchange.

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Response to Mariana (Reply #10)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 11:46 PM

11. If you don't mind telling me where he lived, what city was that?

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Response to freshwest (Reply #11)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 11:52 PM

13. Mobile, Alabama. nt.

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Response to Mariana (Reply #10)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 06:33 AM

14. Houston,TX had/has a 666 exchange.

Last edited Wed Feb 27, 2013, 07:05 AM - Edit history (1)

It was in the area around the Dome and Summit.

Edit to add. Giving away my age- I just remembered that the exchange was Mohawk. Long ago telephone exchanges had names like Capital, Jackson, Mission and Mohawk with the first 2 letters part of the number so Jackson numbers began with 5,2.

Interesting if Bell hadn't done that telephone dials and keypads would only have numbers- How would texting ever occurred to anyone?

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Response to freshwest (Reply #5)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 11:08 AM

47. my dad's work number is a 666 exchange

It was the first number I ever memorized as a kid (only 3 numbers to remember) and I thought of 666 as a phone number long before I knew of the other meaning.

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Response to dballance (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 11:27 PM

6. In San Jose, because they

Added a new area code, 408 numbers now have to dial 1+ the 10 digit #, even to another 408 #. So yeah, I think we're moving towards just 10 digit numbers. With mobile devices, phone numbers are more portable and are expanding like crazy.

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Response to TDale313 (Reply #6)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 11:36 PM

8. That's a Step Backwards.

Maybe my cell phone or carrier is just adding the 1+ on my behalf. I can't remember the last time I actually dialed 1+ a number.

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Response to dballance (Reply #8)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:10 AM

27. None of my cell phones services have required dialing a "1".

It seems that's limited to land lines, at least in my experience.

Then, of course there is Skype, and others.

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Response to TDale313 (Reply #6)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 10:57 AM

24. being forced to dial a 1 is a function of the switch serving you...

it's not required to route the call to another other TN---

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Response to TDale313 (Reply #6)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:10 AM

28. Strange,

I thought everyone has had to dial 10 digit numbers for years.

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Response to dballance (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 11:33 PM

7. I still have my 917 area code

and kept it for over 14 years now, through 2 different employers registrations and 4 (at last count) carriers.

Good luck getting a 917 phone # now (or so I am told - area code is sold out?).

I should put that number up on eBay. Heh.

Edit to add - because my employer uses call tracking, I have to use the full 10-digit number, even to call in lunch from the deli across the street. By the time I dial into outbound tracking, put in my pin and their 10 digit number, I could have walked out our front door with a bullhorn and ordered a pastrami on rye...

Edit 2 - there are typically no charges for same telecom calls. Doesn't help with friends & family calling from East Bumblefuck on who knows what carrier, but AT&T to AT&T, T-Mobile to T-Mobile, etc - is always free for long distance and even minputes used. Moved my mom to my carrier years ago to save on her plan.

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Response to dballance (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 11:37 PM

9. Area codes DO matter. If you keep your cell phone with its NYC area code when you move to,

say, Hawaii...........your next door neighbor has to pay long distance rates to talk to you. And vice versa.

Big Telecom is hoping people won't notice this. The way they charge for phone calls, it's probably almost impossible for you to tell they are screwing people this way.

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Response to kestrel91316 (Reply #9)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 10:08 AM

40. except that most phone plans include nationwide long distance

You are right if someone still has a phone plan that charges long distance fees for individual calls, but unless I am wrong I believe most people have a plan with nationwide long distance included as part of their plan. I haven't paid for long distance calls in years.

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Response to dballance (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 08:25 AM

15. Yes.

It matters when someone keeps their old area code, making their number a long distance call even when they are local.

It matters when, in my area, we now have to dial the area code for all calls, whether or not they are local, making every local phone number a de facto 10 digit number; it's tedious.

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Response to dballance (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 09:03 AM

17. yes they matter

we live in a county with a variety of local carriers
phone service is not the same in big city vs poduck town-rural usa

move to some of these podunk areas and discover the internets are not always available,
you local calling area may not include a call to the police dept

in terms of technology the us is still a third world nation

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Response to dballance (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 09:13 AM

18. They matter, but only because of time zones.

Time zones really matter. Paying attention to them is important. A number of times, someone has scheduled a business call with me, but when they're traveling. I know their time zone from their area code. If they don't tell me which time zone they're currently in, calls get missed. So, I've learned to ask what time zone someone is referring to when we make a schedule - every time.

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Response to dballance (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 09:37 AM

19. Actually, they do matter. If you only dial 7 digits it's assumed the area code is your own.

 

The 1-xxx-xxx-xxxx format is only necessary for land lines. Cell phones assume the 1 if the number is ten digits and assume local area code if it's seven. Two of my daughters are out of state but I only need to use their seven digit number to contact them from either my cell or my land line.

But other than that technical aspect of it, you're correct. We essentially have a ten digit phone number now. Once upon a time, area code meant strictly that. Now there are a lot of regions with overlapping area codes because one won't support the territory.

Same with exchanges. That meant something when all phones were hard-wired, but cell phones changed all of that. We've got three land-line exchanges in our territory and more cell phone exchanges than I can think of at the moment.

I'm old enough to remember when every house had exactly one phone number. Then they introduced the second number option with the double-ring (which I currently have). I used to have two physical lines, one for voice and one for modem, but DSL has made that obsolete. Now I've got one land line with two numbers assigned to it, DSL that I can use for Skype, and five cell phones between us - seven phone numbers and an IP address for one house.

Times have changed, eh?

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Response to Gorp (Reply #19)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:05 AM

25. That's a function of the switch serving you...

Where I work it's all 10 digit dialing for all users. We had some folks wanting to do 7 digit dialing in austin area but nope...

Does anybody here know what a LATA is?

And the switch or cell carrier doesn't "assume" the 1. It's called whether you normalizing with E.164

Want to know about phone numbers-
Open the English PDF at this link...and lots of ammendments to read as well----


E.164 : The international public telecommunication numbering plan
http://www.itu.int/rec/T-REC-E.164-201011-I/en



Intra-Lata calls, Inter-Lata calls----all on the googles

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Response to snooper2 (Reply #25)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:07 AM

26. LATA = "Local Access and Transport Area". If you need to need more, here's a good explanation...

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Local_access_and_transport_area

I've done a lot of telecommunications work.

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Response to Gorp (Reply #26)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:17 AM

30. I wasn't asking for me LOL


When I talk to my boss later I'll mention, what's a LATA, he'd smack me through the phone


Give me two of your phone numbers I'll show you a trick


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Response to dballance (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 10:07 AM

20. Hah! I always get funny looks

from people when I give them my cell number.

Here's the story...

youngest stepdaughter was going to school out in San Diego some years back and had a cell phone, naturally, with the 619 area code.

She then got married and moved to Texas, where she still has the same number. She and her husband are both on the same family plan, and they had room for two more, so Mr Pipi and I each signed up to be on her plan, paying her every month for our share.

We live in Mass, but have San Diego area codes.

So...not only are area codes no longer pertinent to one's location, but I also forget about cell phones completely when someone calls me, as my mom did in Oct of 2011 to wish me Happy Birthday. She asked what I would be doing that day. I said, oh, probably just going into town for some Chinese or something.

So Mr Pipi and I go out later, and he's futzing around and I'm getting hungry and annoyed, and finally have to use the ladies room. Just finishing up when there's a knock on the door, and when I open it up, there's my daughter with my mom, who I thought had called me from Florida, but was really up here the whole time.

It was a cool surprise.

People on cell phones can be calling from anywhere!!

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Response to dballance (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 10:12 AM

21. You'll Pry My 212 area code phone number from my cold dead hands!

I've had it for over 20 years and it's my cel phone number now.

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Response to Skraxx (Reply #21)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 10:52 AM

23. Same as my 909.

It's mine goddammit.

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Response to dballance (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:23 AM

31. XKCD says it wonderfully...

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Response to krispos42 (Reply #31)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 02:12 PM

57. Sad to think that all the digits are random now.

 

You used to be able to tell someone's city from their exchange. In the 609 area code (before the split in 1999) you knew that any 69x numbers were Vineland, 32x was Millville, 45x was Bridgeton, and so on.

Likewise, when I went to college at St. Bonaventure, a 372 number meant you were in Olean. 373 meant you were in Allegany. 375 meant you were on campus. Then they added 379 for the college switchboard and before long everything went to hell.

Proud to still use the 794 number I got back in 1993, even if there's no landline connected to it any longer, just a Vonage box.

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Response to dballance (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:48 AM

34. I still remember phone numbers from 1949.

Our house 1078-J
My aunt was 1126-X
.
You picked up the phone and waited for an operator to say "number please."
You gave her the number and she had to take a long cord and plug it into a hole. Sometimes you got someone you didn't know because the operator misunderstood the number. It was fun when you recognized the wrong party's voice and just started up a conversation with them. Then of course sometimes you heard a faint "click" which meant someone else had picked up the phone and was listening in for some potential gossip.
.
Those were the days!

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Response to Chipper Chat (Reply #34)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 07:32 AM

37. You Totally Win This Thread for Having a Great Memory of Your Experience

Oddly enough, my mother was a telephone operator way, way back when. She may have been one of those nice people who asked "number please" of you. As for me, I just grew up during the time when we had that old rotary-dial phone with pulse-dialing and during which "touch-tone" dialing became available and the latest, greatest thing to pioneer time-saving and conquer the world.

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Response to dballance (Reply #37)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 12:38 PM

48. An operator cussed me out once.

My brother and I were just playing with the phone. (We deserved the dressing down).

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Response to Chipper Chat (Reply #48)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 05:28 PM

59. I Can't Imagine My Mom, the Phone Operator, Cussing Someone - No Matter How Much You Deserved it.

In all my years I can't remember her uttering more than one or two curse words. In context they were totally appropriate.

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Response to dballance (Original post)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 07:20 AM

36. The only way they keep their old area code is on a cell phone.

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Response to hobbit709 (Reply #36)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 10:12 AM

41. Not so, any voip service would also be portable

Majicjack, Ooma, Nettalk, etc. let you take your number anywhere you want, not only in the US but the world. Also, you can port your home phone to a cell connection and move it wherever you want (in the US) as well.

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Response to hobbit709 (Reply #36)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 10:25 AM

42. i disagree

voice over ip allows for similar treatnent of numbers

When i order a new circuit for a customer i can order a number to be included in the companies list from
pretty much any community in the us as long as it has the same local phone company.

allows a company to look local even when they are not.

my best example is a radio station in an area that has a small local calling area.
the station ordered a couple numbers from areas where they would have lots of listeners but not not participation
on call in shows because the area was long distance and listeners are cheap.
The foreign number allows the distant caller with no expense to the caller and no 800 number charges

if the local carrier is not the same as the carrier in the distant area, it still is sometimes possible but the rules change.

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Response to dembotoz (Reply #42)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 10:32 AM

44. When I got my VOIP, they would only give me a number in my area code.

Of course that was around 2000.

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Response to hobbit709 (Reply #44)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 01:30 PM

55. depends of who you buy it from

i am talking ATT
product--flexreach

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Response to dballance (Original post)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 07:47 AM

38. Given the reaction when Verizon gave us a hanful of 714 instead of 949 numbers...

they certainly matter to some people.

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Response to dballance (Original post)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 09:49 AM

39. Circa 1945 our phone number was 5202.

Then it became 7-5202, then ALpine 7-5202.
In my daughter's town in MA you have to dial the area code even if you're calling next door.

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Response to dballance (Original post)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 10:34 AM

46. I have a 666 exchange :)

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Response to dballance (Original post)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 12:51 PM

49. I changed my area code when I moved in 2007

But it was also because there were a lot of taxes associated with my old area code (very high COL county). I think my monthly bill went down $2 because I changed the area code.

I don't plan on changing it again. I've worked on campaigns all over the country, and I like having the 732. Besides, my area code has a meaning (it spells out "sea'). Should I leave NJ permanently, I will still keep the 732. And I doubt I will ever have a landline.

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Response to dballance (Original post)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 01:10 PM

51. I wish there were national database

To find lost friends and relatives who have cell phones.

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Response to dballance (Original post)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 01:14 PM

52. The zip code in Topeka, Kansas home of the Westboro Baptist Church begins 666

I always thought that was quite appropriate and was very happy to move into another zip code area.

Not area code but an amusing little factoid I think.

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Response to dballance (Original post)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 01:26 PM

53. Area codes are fun to put in your username to let everyone know

where you're from!

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Response to dballance (Original post)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 02:08 PM

56. And with virtual numbers

 

and VOIP you can be anywhere with any number. For a while, to stay in touch with family, I had numbers here in New Jersey, in Buffalo, NY, and in Leeds, United Kingdom, all of which rang my home number.

As for 666, it's reserved because area codes with repeated second-and-third digits are reserved as "easily recognizable" and saved for special purposes. All of the "8xx" (822, 833, 844, 855, 866, 877, 888, 899, 800) area codes are allocated for toll-free use (even if we haven't gone lower than 855 or used 899 so far). Nevada asked for "777" when the 702 area code split, for example, and were turned down. They got 775 instead.

There's a logic behind the original area codes, believe it or not. 201 was assigned to New Jersey (then Northern NJ, now a small part of Northern NJ) because that's where Bell Labs was located and they were given the honor of having the first (lowest possible number) area code at the time. New York got 212 because it required the shortest "pull" of all possible area codes. 213, 312, 313 were assigned to other large metropolitan areas for the same reason.

My favorite area code is the "Space Coast" in Brevard County, Florida, which requested and got "321" when area codes with numbers other than 0 or 1 began to be allocated.

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Response to Pab Sungenis (Reply #56)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 02:13 PM

58. My parents still has the 321 exchange

 

except it's in Denver.

My last four digits is 7337. Reminds me of my old w4r3z days.

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