OC to get new area code

Janelle Green

On Sept. 20, 2007, The California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) approved an area code overlay that will add a new 657 area code to the existing one of 714.

Residents with the 714 area code will keep their original area code and telephone numbers. New residents will be given new numbers with the 657 area code.

The 657 area code is aimed at the entire 714 region which includes parts of Orange County and the cities of Anaheim, Hunington Beach, Yorba Linda, Fullerton, Orange, and Santa Ana.

These transformations are occuring for two major reasons: various cities have different telephone service providers and therefore need the same area code as those cities who have the same provider, and because there are only so many telephone numbers to be given to residents.

Once an area runs out of numbers, a reconstruction of the area is necessary to provide more available ones.

“I never realized that cities ran out of numbers,” said Courtney Cuevas, 18, marine biology. “I mean, it makes sense but I don’t think that many people understand that the change is necessary and not just for the hell of it.”

This is not the first area code change for the 714 cities.”I remember when 714 was made,” said Marcus Miles, 18, business. “There must be a huge population growth around that time because city area codes were changing frequently it seems.”

In Nov. 1982, San Bernadino County, San Diego County, Imperial County, and Riverside, which all originally belonged to the 714 area, were forced to join area code 619.

Saddleback students who live in northern Orange County, Los Angeles County, or San Bernadino County witnessed a similar adjustment in Nov. 1992 when the previous area code, 213, was changed to 714 and several cities were forced to join different area codes such as 619, 760, 909, 951 and 858.

The most recent modification was that of Apr 1998 when the southern and the western parts of Orange County changed from a 949 area code to their current 714 area code.

By Aug 2008, any resident in the 714 zone that wishes to make a local call will have to dial a one plus a ten digit number, which will include the current 714 area code.

After September, all new residents entering the domain, and anyone currently residing in these areas who wishes to add a line or change their number, will be given phone numbers with 657 as their new area code.