VENTURA, Calif. - The 805 area code is getting a little cramped. In an estimated two years the area from Ventura County to San Luis Obispo County will run out of all its available phone numbers.
Meetings were held this week to come up with the best plan to deal with the issue.
The two relief methods the California Public Utilities Commission is choosing from are a overlay and a split.
The split would let you keep your seven-digit phone number, but would split the 805 into two sections. One section would get to keep the 805 area code and the other would get a new area code. As long as you are dialing in your designated section, you can dial your seven-digit number without a problem. If you leave the area though or are using most mobile devices you would be required to dial a one and the 10-digit number that includes the area code.
The other relief method is the overlay. It would let all current phone numbers stay the same with an 805 area code, but all new numbers issued in this area would get a new area code. How this method works, is it would require all local calls to be dialed with 10 digits.
"The new consumers including the current consumers that have the 805 would have to dial the 1 plus 10 digits, even if lets just say for example across the street my neighbor has a current 805 and I have an 805, if the overlay is decided, I would have to dial the one plus 10-digit number to complete the dialing," said Public Utilities Regulatory Analyst Anna Jew.
"The new number has not been assigned yet. We have to wait for the California Public Utilities Commission to make the final decision and then we'll announce the new area code," said Joe Cocke with the North American Numbering Plan Administration.
To avoid service disruption the new dialing method will start being used in winter of 2017. Phone numbers with the new area code will start being distributed in 2018.