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No respite from area code change for Tahoe

Sally J. Taylor

Hope that South Shore California residents might actually keep the 916 area code was choked off Thursday by the California Public Utilities Commission.

Last week Judge Timothy Kenney, with the commission’s administrative law department, gave an advisory decision to expand the region to retain the 916 area code to include all of El Dorado County and a wider circle surrounding Sacramento.

The decision resulted from several petitions filed by telecommunications and government officials requesting those changes to the previously released boundaries.



On Thursday, the utilities commission did extend the area, but only as far east into El Dorado County as El Dorado Hills.

Lincoln, Newcastle, Penryn, south Placer County and Pleasant Grove were also added to the new 916 boundaries that already included Sacramento County and West Sacramento.



“Calling patterns proved those (new) areas made frequent calls into Sacramento,” said Kyle DeVine, spokewoman for the Public Utilities Commission.

On Nov. 1, the entire California-side of Lake Tahoe will transfer into the new 530 area code along with the rest of Northern California residents from the coastal range to the Nevada border and north to Oregon.

During a six-month get acquainted period, callers can dial either 530 or 916 to reach customers in the new 530 area code.

“However, we’re urging people to begin using the new 530 area code right away to get used to the change,” said California Code Administrator Doug Hescox, who coordinates area code relief planning statewide for the California telecommunications industry.

The boundaries for long-distance charges will not be affected.

When the area code changes, the Tahoe region will also lose its protected dialing status which allows seven-digit dialing between area codes. After Nov. 1, the area code will need to be dialed to call across the state line, even just across State Line Avenue.

The proliferation of telephones, fax machines, pagers, cell phones and modems has substantially shortened the life of existing area codes.

Nevada’s 702 area code is slated to divide next year with the area to retain the number still undecided.

The 530 area code is just one of several new codes being introduced in California.

In January, the 562 area code was introduced to a portion of the 310 code region. In March, 760 was carved off the 619 area code. This month, 626 was introduced in the eastern portion of 818. The 415 area code will split in August with the southern portion being assigned to 650.

In 1998, area code splits will include 323 carved from 213; 831 from 408; 925 from 510; and 949 from 714.


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