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are telephone area codes still relevant these days?
Posted by: space-time
Date: June 06, 2014 10:59AM
Why do we still call these area codes? with VOIP, cell phones, number portability, etc. there is very little relation ship between the "area code" and the location of the phone. Who pays long distance anyway these days?

virtually all people I know keep their cell phone numbers when they move across the country, and if I were to move today, I would keep my cell phone and my OOMA numbers the same. You can set preferences in the system so E911 works just fine, i.e. the ambulance/police comes to the right address regardless of area code.
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Re: are telephone area codes still relevant these days?
Posted by: C(-)ris
Date: June 06, 2014 11:07AM
There are plenty of places where this isn't true. Pretty much any small town anywhere in the country. If you don't have a local number good luck getting anyone to even acknowledge you exist.



C(-)ris
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Re: are telephone area codes still relevant these days?
Posted by: ztirffritz
Date: June 06, 2014 11:11AM
I see the day coming soon where you call an 'email address'. If both users have an iOS device, that day is here already. Audio Facetime calls by-pass the the old phone network entirely and makes a VOIP call.



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Re: are telephone area codes still relevant these days?
Posted by: neophyte
Date: June 06, 2014 11:15AM
Teacher calls from school to talk to parent about kid's performance. Parent's only phone number on school records is cell number with out of town area code. School pays long distance toll. Your tax dollars at work.
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Re: are telephone area codes still relevant these days?
Posted by: space-time
Date: June 06, 2014 11:35AM
Quote
neophyte
Teacher calls from school to talk to parent about kid's performance. Parent's only phone number on school records is cell number with out of town area code. School pays long distance toll. Your tax dollars at work.

interesting, I guess schools and other government organizations still use POTS (Plains Old Telephone Service)? They could save a lot of money by using VOIP.
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Re: are telephone area codes still relevant these days?
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: June 06, 2014 11:57AM
For educational institutions, the main benefit of POTS is that it's more fault tolerant than VOIP. Because the Internet is NOT a national safety specified critical infrastructure in the US, and therefore ISP's are not required to provide backup power and so forth. Unlike POTS systems.

The area code is still central to the switching system.
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Re: are telephone area codes still relevant these days?
Posted by: Robert M
Date: June 06, 2014 12:00PM
Space,

At one point, they proved 100% necessary. Now, they are still necessary since cellular phones and VOIP lines haven't replaced plain ol' landlines entirely. I doubt they ever will since there are always going to be people, business, government agencies and other organizations that use landlines. That and area codes are still important when calling internationally when you're in the US calling outside of the country or vise versa. Heck, at that point, it's not just an area code. You're dealing with country codes, too. So, they'll never go away.

Robert
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Re: are telephone area codes still relevant these days?
Posted by: space-time
Date: June 06, 2014 12:16PM
even country codes are slowly losing their relevance; I was in Europe and had my VOIP with me so I could make/receive calls just like if I were in the US. A friend of mine, from CANADA, moved to GERMANY and kept his phone number from FLORIDA (he uses one of those magic jack sticks).

In Europe they want to eliminate roaming fees on cell phones, so at some point you should be able to take your cell phone from Germany and live in UK for example and make/receive calls just like you were in Germany.
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Re: are telephone area codes still relevant these days?
Posted by: Robert M
Date: June 06, 2014 12:27PM
Space,

Remember, you're basing this on just your usage and phone setup. That doesn't necessarily reflect at all the way the rest of the US (and world) is setup for phone service.

Robert
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Re: are telephone area codes still relevant these days?
Posted by: billb
Date: June 06, 2014 12:28PM
what percentage of people move across country continually ?

there's your relative relevancy
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Re: are telephone area codes still relevant these days?
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: June 06, 2014 12:30PM
My cell is set to dial the area code regardless, to me a phone number is now 10-digits rather than seven. I can see that becoming the norm.



“No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.”
-- François de La Rochefoucauld

Growing older is mandatory. Growing up is optional.
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Re: are telephone area codes still relevant these days?
Posted by: Robert M
Date: June 06, 2014 12:36PM
Om,

Correct. FIOS digital phone service requires 10 digit dialing. To me, I don't think of it a an area code. I just think of the phone number as the phone number. The components of the number no longer have any special distinction in that regard.

But, both the area code and the first three digits of a number do provide information to the recipient. I can tell a number is based in a certain state and to a degree city within that sate based on the first six digits of a phone number. Very handy sometimes.

Robert
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Re: are telephone area codes still relevant these days?
Posted by: space-time
Date: June 06, 2014 01:20PM
To me, I don't think of it a an area code. I just think of the phone number as the phone number. The components of the number no longer have any special distinction in that regard.

I think you just proved my point. smiling smiley Thank you.

Actually now I remember why I thought about this the other day. I was trying to call a "local" number (same area code) and my ATT iPhone asked me to dial the number WITH area code. I was like WTF??? anyway, dialed with area code (does not matter if I add 1 or not) and it worked.
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Re: are telephone area codes still relevant these days?
Posted by: mattkime
Date: June 06, 2014 02:03PM
no



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Re: are telephone area codes still relevant these days?
Posted by: testcase
Date: June 06, 2014 02:16PM
In areas where there are two or more area codes, it can be necessary to dial 10 digits even when calling your neighbor who is still in the same Area Code as you are. On Long Island, NY, about 15 ~ 20 years ago, the 516 Area Code was running out of numbers for the two counties it served (Nassau & Suffolk). I am very happy it was decided to give Suffolk the new Area Code (631) rather than do an "overlay" and have two Area Codes serving two counties. Suffolk residents were allowed to keep 516 for their cell phones if they wanted to (and many did). I believe that keeping the old Area Code was a mistake for Suffolk people and overall, everyone would be better off if 516 were only for Nassau County numbers and 631 was only for Suffolk County numbers. Even now with VOIP making Area Codes less significant, I don't see Area Codes going away. I would like to see misuse of VOIP (telemarketing etc) to be dealt with much more seriously. With modern computers, it shouldn't be to difficult or expensive to set uo a system for people to report spam calls (dial #666 for instance). When multiple reports of misuse are registered, the appropriate agency goes after the abuser. If said abused is offshore, their internet service provider is notified. The provider must then cut off service or shut down the offender or, be blocked from US access.
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Re: are telephone area codes still relevant these days?
Posted by: Robert M
Date: June 06, 2014 02:21PM
Space,

What I've done is agree with you. But, that doesn't change the reality that area codes (and country codes for that matter) are still relevant despite the fact that you and I no longer give them a particular distinction.

Robert
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Re: are telephone area codes still relevant these days?
Posted by: Mike Johnson
Date: June 06, 2014 02:25PM
I live in the 805. My mom lives in the 310. I get a phone call from the 818, I’m like, pshaw.
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Re: are telephone area codes still relevant these days?
Posted by: clay
Date: June 06, 2014 02:54PM
There are still a lot of folks who use standard land lines without a long distance plan and/or don't have easy access to cell phones. Granted, those folks tend to be (generally) the older generation or those who live in more rural areas. And the trend is towards long distance surcharges going away, but for now, there's still some disparity between those who can dial with impunity and those who can't.
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Re: are telephone area codes still relevant these days?
Posted by: Catzilla
Date: June 06, 2014 03:28PM
Yes...
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Re: are telephone area codes still relevant these days?
Posted by: N-OS X-tasy!
Date: June 06, 2014 03:35PM
Quote
cbelt3
For educational institutions, the main benefit of POTS is that it's more fault tolerant than VOIP. Because the Internet is NOT a national safety specified critical infrastructure in the US, and therefore ISP's are not required to provide backup power and so forth. Unlike POTS systems.

There are potential liability issues at schools that utilize VoIP. In short, 24/7 access to the 9-1-1 system is required, which means 100% LAN uptime at schools that utilize VoIP.

At all K-12 schools where my employer has installed VoIP solutions, UPS protection for every network switch is MANDATORY.



It is what it is.
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Re: are telephone area codes still relevant these days?
Posted by: N-OS X-tasy!
Date: June 06, 2014 03:36PM
Quote
Mike Johnson
I live in the 805. My mom lives in the 310. I get a phone call from the 818, I’m like, pshaw.

Do you ignore calls from the 909?



It is what it is.
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Re: are telephone area codes still relevant these days?
Posted by: silvarios
Date: June 06, 2014 03:49PM
My calls haven't gone through in years without dialing the area code first, even for locals.

Here's another reason area codes are useful. Not too long ago I was visiting Texas and went to call a local number with a prefix the same as some local numbers here in Maryland. I blanked out and dialed my local area code instead of the proper Texas area code. Imagine my surprise when the call completed to the wrong state! The numbers were otherwise identical except for the area code. Area codes are a good way to add additional numbers to the pool. Reuse seven and then add another area code for a new unique phone number.
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Re: are telephone area codes still relevant these days?
Posted by: hal
Date: June 06, 2014 03:56PM
Quote
Mike Johnson
I live in the 805. My mom lives in the 310. I get a phone call from the 818, I’m like, pshaw.

Spoken like a true Angelino :-)
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Re: are telephone area codes still relevant these days?
Posted by: Mini 9
Date: June 06, 2014 04:02PM
Quote
space-time
Why do we still call these area codes? with VOIP, cell phones, number portability, etc. there is very little relation ship between the "area code" and the location of the phone. Who pays long distance anyway these days?

virtually all people I know keep their cell phone numbers when they move across the country, and if I were to move today, I would keep my cell phone and my OOMA numbers the same. You can set preferences in the system so E911 works just fine, i.e. the ambulance/police comes to the right address regardless of area code.

I think they need to drop phone numbers and just go with some name, akin to website/domain names.
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Re: are telephone area codes still relevant these days?
Posted by: Don C
Date: June 06, 2014 05:03PM
If area codes were "released" from a geographical area there would not be a problem with areas running out of numbers. When one AC fills up, just start using an AC that has plenty of numbers available. It IS nice to know where a call is coming from, though.

I have chosen to keep my landline:
- folks who want to talk to one of us, but it can be either one of us, have a number to call
- awful lot of accounts are tied to our house number; which of us would we change to?
- inertia at rest (it ain't broke ...)
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Re: are telephone area codes still relevant these days?
Posted by: Bill in NC
Date: June 06, 2014 08:23PM
"Los Angeles give me Norfolk Virginia
Tidewater four ten o nine
Tell the folks back home this is the promised land calling
And the poor boy is on the line"
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Re: are telephone area codes still relevant these days?
Posted by: Mini 9
Date: June 06, 2014 08:24PM
I remember back in 1990 (?) we worked on the first area code problem where the 0s and 1s (in middle position) were allowed to be used. So, Chicago got seven-OH-eight... and no one WANTED IT.. Sounded hick-ish the papers said. shrug.
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Re: are telephone area codes still relevant these days?
Posted by: Robert M
Date: June 06, 2014 10:03PM
Mini,

Maybe I'm misunderstanding your post. 516 has been the area code in Nassau county since at least the 70s. 212 and 914 have been around forever, too. Same goes for 718 came later than the area codes I previously listed. So, maybe the 0s and 1s in the middle position were new to Chicago in the 90s?

Robert
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Re: are telephone area codes still relevant these days?
Posted by: testcase
Date: June 06, 2014 10:34PM
Yes, "1"s & "0" were in common use in Area Codes for decades (as the second or third digit only). As already stated: 212 for the five boroughs of NYC and, 201 for NJ. There were others.
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Re: are telephone area codes still relevant these days?
Posted by: Mike Johnson
Date: June 06, 2014 11:23PM
Quote
N-OS X-tasy!
Quote
Mike Johnson
I live in the 805. My mom lives in the 310. I get a phone call from the 818, I’m like, pshaw.

Do you ignore calls from the 909?

Not many working phones left in the 909. Tweakers have pretty much disassembled them all.
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Re: are telephone area codes still relevant these days?
Posted by: GeneL
Date: June 07, 2014 12:18AM
I can still remember making calls through an operator, back in NY!

Operator, please get me Murray Hill 5789. I don't remember how many digits there were, though.



gl @ Dana Point, CA
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Re: are telephone area codes still relevant these days?
Posted by: Mini 9
Date: June 07, 2014 07:16AM
Quote
Robert M
Mini,

Maybe I'm misunderstanding your post. 516 has been the area code in Nassau county since at least the 70s. 212 and 914 have been around forever, too. Same goes for 718 came later than the area codes I previously listed. So, maybe the 0s and 1s in the middle position were new to Chicago in the 90s?

Robert

24 years gone by... can't recall specifics...
[en.wikipedia.org]
Quote
When the North American Numbering Plan was developed, telephone circuits included electromechanical relays which imposed limitation on the speed of dialing a digit, and therefore dialing a complete 10-digit telephone number could take up to ten seconds, during which hardware resources had to be dedicated to a circuit. The Bell System organized the numbering plan to minimize the cost of providing automatic dialing to large population centers. The second digit of all area codes was 0 or 1, while the second digit of the exchange triplet was never 0 or 1, thus facilitating the recognition of whether a user was dialing a full 10-digit number or merely dialing within the local area code. I

Perhaps I should have mentioned the exchange triplet. Sorry to f-up my terminology. But all those considerations were in-play when we were analyzing the future options. Frankly, it wasn't a big discussion and effort, as some things go.
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Re: are telephone area codes still relevant these days?
Posted by: Robert M
Date: June 07, 2014 08:19AM
Mini,

Big discussion or not, the difference is significant and your original post was confusing and inaccurate. It sounds like you worked for one of the phone companies 24 years ago?

Robert
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Re: are telephone area codes still relevant these days?
Posted by: Black
Date: June 07, 2014 11:16PM
Quote
Mini 9
I remember back in 1990 (?) we worked on the first area code problem where the 0s and 1s (in middle position) were allowed to be used. So, Chicago got seven-OH-eight... and no one WANTED IT.. Sounded hick-ish the papers said. shrug.

708 was all the Chicago suburbs from 1989 to 1996.
I recall when it was a thing in bar/clubbing culture to refer to suburbanites as "708s."
Much less relevance now that it's been split further, although you can still tell where someone is "from
by their area code most of the time.




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Re: are telephone area codes still relevant these days?
Posted by: Black
Date: June 07, 2014 11:19PM
Quote
GeneL
I can still remember making calls through an operator, back in NY!

Operator, please get me Murray Hill 5789. I don't remember how many digits there were, though.

I remember my mom teaching me how to call the operator (I must have been 4 based on where it was) and the woman on the other end was friendly like they haven't made 'em in decades.




New forum user map 8/2015: [www.zeemaps.com]
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Re: are telephone area codes still relevant these days?
Posted by: Mini 9
Date: June 10, 2014 09:40AM
Quote
Robert M
Mini,

Big discussion or not, the difference is significant and your original post was confusing and inaccurate. It sounds like you worked for one of the phone companies 24 years ago?

Robert

I suck at communication.
So, I meant the effort regarding area codes was in the overall (aka bigger) picture at work, was like a 5% of my time, project. If that. I'm not sure (once again) that I was clear on that. So, reaching back 20+ years to remember the particulars, I fail miserably. But again my main point is I'd like to see phone NUMBERS, pennies and nickels all be obsoleted.
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