(475), Part 2

I posted this story last May.  It created a flutter of interest, but that quickly died.  Well, November 14 is now a week from tomorrow.  I have seen nothing — no news stories, ads, public service announcements — about this event that will change one of our most ingrained habits forever.

So here we go again:

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but:

Next November 14, life gets more complicated for everyone in Westport.  That’s the day we must begin dialing the area code for every phone call we make — even those to fellow Westporters with numbers beginning 227-, 221-, etc.

The reason:  On December 12, phone companies start assigning a new area code for this part of Connecticut.  Now, in addition to 203, western Connecticut will be 475 territory.  And 7-digit numbers will go the way of the rotary phone.

(The Hartford area gets a new area code too — 959 — to go along with 860.  But we’re used to dialing 10 digits for our northern neighbors, as if they were in Florida or Wyoming.)

There is no new cost to call numbers that are now free.

No financial cost, that is.  But think of all the time we’ll spend updating every 7-digit number programmed into our landlines and cell phones.  And don’t forget all those fax machines, security systems, speed dialers, call forwarding systems and other equipment.

The population of Connecticut has remained steady for years.  Stores and restaurants are in a race to see which can go out of business first.

So why do we need a new area code — and the loss forever of 7-digit dialing?

Must be all those 9-year-olds with iPhones.

Rotary phone

7 responses to “(475), Part 2

  1. I’m actually looking forward to having to dial 10 digits. NYC did it years ago and the world did not come to a screeching halt.

    Just wait until we go to 11 digit numbers…

  2. In Denver, where I live, you ALWAYS have to dial 7 digits. It was annoying when I first moved to Colorado, but now I never think about it. It’s pretty easy once you get the hang of it. We have either 303 or 720, and there’s really no rhyme or reason for who has which area code – at least to me knowledge.

  3. I’m sorry – I meant we’ve always had to dial 10 digits – not 7 – in Colorado and it hasn’t been much of a problem once you get used to it. Freudian slip?

  4. Stephen Rubin

    It’s the old story of having cake and eating too. We want cell phone, home phones, kids get phones, everybody uses a fax, 3G connections, alarm systems, multiple line family systems, blackberry, car phones and the list goes on and on. Each one of these items is another phone number. Just so many numbers out there folks. It also means more cell towers. I was at a meeting some years ago when Westport residents were complaining about too many cell towers. Then a phone rang and everybody reached for their phone. We gave up on rejecting the tower. We also want the best service possible. We want our cars (expensive gas or not) and we want our phones (7 or 10 digits) It’s the American Way! And, we want to talk on the phone in our cars !?!?

  5. I actually don’t dial any digits, I just type part of the name into my blackberry and it figures it out. Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

  6. Linda Gramatky Smith

    Loved the last comment (from someone who doesn’t have a blackberry but is thinking of the new Droid or Eris smartphone). And actually, since I’m used to 10-digit dialing in NJ at grandkids’, I know it is something one gets used to quickly. So since you alerted us last May, Dan, I’ve slowly been putting in the 10-digits into cell phone, etc.

    I agree, it’s no big deal (and I sure complained about it in NJ at first).

  7. well we just let it happen didn’t we? instead of putting up a fight with the phone companies, new numbers could have been 10 digit and old numbers stay 7, programmers couldn’t figure that out?