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.