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New Area Code Could Be in Our Future

New Area Code Could Be in Our Future



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Samantha Hayes Reporting385 may soon be a number combination you know by heart. Basically, we need another area code in Utah because combinations with 801 are running out. The Public Service Commission will figure out what to do soon; for right now, it is considering two different ways 385 could be implemented.

Area codes these days don't really have much to do with the area because technology now allows for something called an overlay. That means you could have an 801 area code, and your new next door neighbor could have 385.

New Area Code Could Be in Our Future

Steve Mecham, the former chair of the Public Service Commission, said, "I think implementation is fairly simple in the overlay plan."

It means you get to keep your number, and the new folks who move in get the new one, but everybody has to dial 10 digits instead of seven, and not everybody likes that.

The alternative is to do something called a "split." That means the calling areas would change, some local calls would require 10 digits and some seven. The advisory committee says a split would be more expensive.

Kelly Casaday, a member of Committee of Consumer Services, says, "As a businessman, if we had to reprint because of a new phone number, it would cost many thousands of dollars."

Mecham said, "No matter what the commission does, it will be disruptive. The question is what is least disruptive, and in my opinion, the least disruptive is the overlay."

But when it comes to phone numbers these days, many customers just aren't as attached as they used to be.

Dan King says, "Wouldn't faze me. From the day of cell phones, you have two or three different numbers anyway."

A committee has recommended the overlay plan of the 385 area code to the commission

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