820 area code coming to the Central Coast

June 4, 2017

Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties will soon have two area codes, 805 and 820, because the number of 805 combinations is running short.

As a result, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) approved the new area code to meet the demand for new numbers. The CPUC forecasted that the 805 area would use up all its available numbers by the fourth quarter of 2017.

Existing customers will retain their 805 area code and specific telephone numbers. However, all customers will need to dial one plus the three digit area code for both the 805 and the 820 area codes beginning in May 2018.

The 805 area code was created in 1957, splitting from the 213 area code and covering the coastal and inland areas north of Los Angeles. The 805 area code was reduced to its current configuration along the coast when the 661 was split off of it in 1999.

Here are some tips from the CPUC to help prepare for the area code overlay:

Contact security or alarm vendors to update numbers to avoid a break in security, routines and contacts.

Reprogram equipment or features i.e., automatic dial, speed dial, call forwarding, modems for computer or internet dial-up access etc., programmed to dial seven digits to dial “1 plus area code plus telephone number.

Update items like stationery, checks, etc., to include your area code plus telephone number.

Start thinking of dialing 1 plus the area code plus telephone number for all calls.

Advise families, friends etc., to dial 1 plus the area code plus the telephone number for all calls.

Provide your area code plus the telephone number, not just the telephone number, as needed.

When asking for someone else’s number, remember to ask for the area code too.

Remember that the previous area code and the new area code will co-exist within the same geographic region.

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Not sure of the specifics but I don’t have to enter 1 for ANY call from my cel.

Bullpucky! Yet another communist plot cooked up by local libs designed to bilk taxpayers out of more money. Why, in my day, we had two cans and a long string and that’s the way we liked it! Everything since then has been pure malarky.

Why not get active in your local political affairs instead of …. you know being a keyboard warrior/whiner.

Dang. What am I going to do with my neck tat, bro?

I’m sure there is a taxpayer funded program for an ink adjustment.

Yeah, they should have made the new one 865, as a 0 can be inked into a 6 pretty easily… bro.

Better stock up on 805 hats while you’re at it, too!

Won’t be long until they run out of area codes too

According to the North American Numbering Plan (NANP) administrator, the current projected exhaust date for phone numbers is somewhere beyond 2046. This covers numbers in the US, Canada and 18 other countries (primarily in the Caribbean). The NANP was developed in 1947 by AT&T and is now administered by Neustar, Inc.

Nonsense! The A05 area code will be tight, yo!

When I was a kid we only had to dial the last five numbers of a seven digit number, and yes we had to dial them. . Pretty cool (or I Guess pretty old)!

I miss party lines. You always knew what was going on in the neighborhood.

Now you have to log into Facebook to find out what’s going on in everyone’s lives!

Ha, we dialed the lat FOUR digits. I’m real old.


Can hardly wait for the new 820 Beer coming out:)

Dialing 1 and then the area code, not so much:(

It’ll be designer water… 8²0

+1 for creativity AND the use of the square². But 8₂0 would have been a +2.

Pain in the ass change, whether you ask me or not.

Can someone explain to me why they don’t just do a geographic split of the 805 area code and create two separate areas? Yes, in the beginning there would be a little confusion and businesses in 805 area that became 820 would have the cost to change items but they are going to have to do some things anyway, such as making sure to dial 1. There also would not be people and business next to each other, some with 805 and some with 820. No need to dial 1 + area code when calling within your own area code. Yes, some will complain no matter what, we already know that happens, but in the end it just seems to make more sense to do area code splits by geographical areas and not have dual area code areas.

Well, because it’s very disruptive to anyone who stores phone numbers in a file, spreadsheet, website, database, etc. All phone numbers in 805 would have to be checked to see if they’re going to change. For the phone companies involved, it’s a very disruptive process which takes months of planning just to update their IT systems, let alone their switching equipment, etc. The actual conversion usual requires a full weekend for most systems to be converted. This conversion may be spread across multiple weekends, so the personnel time involved is quite large.

One of the other questions which is usually asked is why doesn’t the US expand the number of digits in phone numbers. This would be even more massive of a change. Most phone numbers are stored as 10 characters, and changing file layouts is not a trivial task. Also, any program which validates phone numbers would have to accept a new format. It would be far worse than Y2K…

?? in a geographical area that changes, go to a computer type search 805, hit replace, type 820, hit save as, done. Many just want it more complicated than it needs to be. And all this is done once then in the future no need to determine if a number is 820 or 805 and no need to dial 1+ area code for any local number.

Sounds so simple, eh? Hardly! You really breezed over “in a geographical area that charges” as if it were trivial! Ha! So, you need to have address information. But what if you don’t? How do you know which numbers are in the geographic area? What if an address in your list isn’t current? What if you need to deal with archived data years from now? Overlays mean, if you like your phone number you can keep it (sounds like a broken Obama promise, I know.) Everyone should be dialing ten digits anyways on cellular devices. Seven digit contact lists is just lazy and can cause failed conventions when roaming. And your entire contact list is unusable if you ever move and change area codes.

The article was pretty clear:

“Existing customers will retain their 805 area code and specific telephone numbers.”

No need for a search & replace, but there will be a need to ensure that the existing 805 numbers dialed now include the 1805 before the 7-digit number. Just append “1805” to any 7-digit number (a simple script can do it in seconds).

Really, in today;s tech world we have to an area code… Why not just leave everyone on conversion as is and then the new numbers can deal with the new area code. What a pain…

I’m guessing because they want to re-use the “switch” portion of the number (aka the prefix, or first 3-digits). Since it is all computerized now, and there are no actual switches left in this country (I believe, thanks to Local Number Portability), it’s essentially a moot point. Therefore, be ready to see 1-805-543-xxxx AND 1-820-543-xxxx (or 541-, 756-, etc., or any of the local switch prefixes).