But it says you’re calling from Saskatchewan

Area codes just don’t mean that much anymore. Trini, who lives about ten miles from me, is in a wholly different area code, not because we’re on opposite sides of a boundary, or because there’s supposed to be an overlay (572?) coming to the 405 in the near future, but because she doesn’t have a land line, and she obtained her wireless service out of state. And if you feel compelled to fax me for some reason, there’s yet another code involved.

The FCC, not normally attuned to market reality, might conceivably scrap the whole idea of area codes attached to geographical areas:

[FCC chair Julius] Genachowski began circulating a series of proposals among fellow commissioners Wednesday that could make it easier for VoIP (voice over Internet protocol) providers to tap the national telephone numbers pool and eventually sever the relationship between an area code and an actual geographic area… [the] plan includes a notice of proposed rule-making that seeks comment on new rules governing the way VoIP providers get access to the pool of phone numbers. It also seeks to establish a pilot program to test direct numbers access and launches an inquiry into the way numbers are managed, including their relationship to a geographic area.

One of the stumbling blocks, I suspect, will be long-distance vendors, who already don’t make a dime if I call Trini on my cell phone, and who will resist any effort to make their business model look any more ludicrous than it already is.

(Via Outside the Beltway.)







7 comments

  1. McGehee »

    9 March 2013 · 7:46 am

    The FCC, not normally attuned to market reality, might conceivably scrap the whole idea of area codes attached to geographical areas

    See? See? Told ya didn’I?

    Can the evolution away from phone numbers be far behind?

  2. CT »

    9 March 2013 · 7:47 am

    How long will they still be called “area” codes? Especially when new ones following out will never have had geography attached. (I’ve heard “prefix”.)

  3. Jeffro »

    9 March 2013 · 11:19 am

    One of the stumbling blocks, I suspect, will be long-distance vendors, who already don’t make a dime if I call Trini on my cell phone, and who will resist any effort to make their business model look any more ludicrous than it already is.

    Cry me a river. We’ve learned how overpriced their product is.

  4. McGehee »

    9 March 2013 · 12:01 pm

    Probably until we stop “dialing” our telephones.

  5. Brian J. »

    9 March 2013 · 1:32 pm

    Alas, a whole slang mechanism for describing where you live will be lost.

    Also, the local magazine 417 will have to rebrand.

  6. CGHill »

    9 March 2013 · 5:13 pm

    Officially, an area code is associated with an NPA — Numbering Plan Area — so maybe both those terms are doomed.

  7. Kirk »

    11 March 2013 · 9:33 am

    Substitute “Amalgam” for “Area” … in both “Area Code” and “NPA”, problem solved.

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