It's official: the good old 408 area code will soon be invaded by the new 669.
For the first time in the Bay Area, a new area code does not mean a new area. 669 numbers will be given to new customers in the current 408 region.
The announcement came Thursday from the California Public Utilities Commission.
The 408 area code is predominantly used in Santa Clara County, but also includes portions of Alameda and Santa Cruz counties. Cities in the 408 area code include San Jose (the state’s third largest city), Campbell, Cupertino, Gilroy, Los Gatos, Milpitas, Monte Sereno, Morgan Hill, Santa Clara, Saratoga, Sunnyvale, and a portion of Palo Alto.
The new area code also means a big change in the dialing process. Instead of dialing seven numbers to get your next door neighbor, you will need to dial ten. Starting six months from today, people calling any number in the 408 area code will have to dial the area code plus phone number. There is a six month grace period for this, but in exactly one year, if you don't punch in ten digits your call won't go through.
The CPUC said the 669 had to be added to meet increasing consumer demand. New telephone numbers with the 669 area code will be issued to new customers starting 13 months from today.
Customers will not be required to change their existing telephone numbers.
Here's a little history: area codes were first introduced to California in 1947. The region now served by the 408 area code was originally part of the 415 area code, one of the first three area codes in the state. In June 1959, the 408 area code was created by splitting the 415 area code to meet consumer demand for new telephone numbers. In 1997, San Benito County and most of Monterey County and Santa Cruz County were split from the 408 area code and assigned the 831 area code.