669 Area Code Process Begins Saturday

The California Public Utilities Commission predicts Santa Clara County’s 52-year-old area code, 408, will run out of numbers at the end of this year. If you have, or are thinking about getting, a “408” tattoo, plan accordingly.

Last October, the CPUC voted to add area code 669 to the same geographic region as the existing 408 area code. The process is called an area code overlay. Starting Saturday, customers may dial ten digits for any number within the 408. On Oct. 21, a sure-to-be maddening voice recording will remind callers to dial a 10-digit number.

But the real change starts in November, when all new numbers issued in the South Bay will include the 669 area code.

The 408 area code was assigned to the Santa Clara County area after the region split from the 415 area code in 1959. The 408—and soon to be 669—area code includes San Jose, Campbell, Cupertino, Gilroy, Los Gatos, Milpitas, Monte Soreno, Morgan Hill, Santa Clara, Saratoga, Sunnyvale, a portion of Palo Alto, as well as small unincorporated portions of Alameda and Santa Cruz Counties.

CPUC decisions are normally made after 18 months of deliberation, but with the numbers set to run out by the end of 2012, the decision had to be rushed.

2 Comments

  1. Area codes have been ambiguous since nationwide free calling was introduced.  Throw in the proliferation of cell phones, google voice, etc.

    Why do we even bother with phone numbers anymore?  If I want to dial someone these days, I do it by looking up their name.