The phone company wins again. After many months of objections by locals and their officials, the Public Utilities Commission voted to allow what’s called an area code overlay of 760. For us in the Eastern Sierra, that means new phone numbers will carry the 442 area code and all of us will have to dial 11 digits just to ring up our neighbors.
Inyo and Mono Supervisors and other officials had strongly objected to the change. Phone company officials said they were running out of space for 760 and needed another area code. Inyo Supervisor Susan Cash, in particular, had attended hearings and stood up for the wishes of the Eastern Sierra. Cash said that the new requirements would go into effect from the date of implementation. Senator Roy Ashburn also weighed in on our behalf. Our officials argued that no overlay was necessary in beyond North San Diego County. The PUC did not agree.
Although PUC spokesmen said a press statement would explain more, that statement was not out at air time. Some said that the implementation of the new area code and overlay was originally scheduled to happen in November.
Because of public objections and delays, that deadline may extend to the end of the year or beyond.
So, again, the California Public Utilities Commission did vote today to implement an area code overlay on 760, including Inyo and Mono counties. On the implementation date, any new phone numbers issued will include the new area code of 442, and all of us will have to dial 11 digits for any phone call within the Eastern Sierra.