Plan to Add Area Codes

* Re “Plan to Add Area Codes Divides L.A.,” Oct. 8:

Since the majority of the demands for new lines are for cellular and paging services, why doesn’t the telephone company simply appropriate a separate area code for cellular and paging lines and spare the rest of us recent victims from suffering again? They do this in other countries already and it makes good sense.

Please, Los Angeles is already divided and separated enough, we don’t need the telephone company to make it so blatant.




* Instead of adding area codes every two to three years for the foreseeable future, which would cause great confusion, hassle, and unnecessary cost, the regulatory agencies should follow the lead of Paris and other great cities by simply making phone numbers eight digits long. This would allow all or most of L.A. to revert back to the original 213 area code. The transition back would be easy. For example, (310) 555-1234 would become (213) and (818) 555-1234 would become (213) The DMV learned a long time ago that this system works when it added a digit to the beginning of the traditional three-letter-three-digit license plate number.

One simple additional digit would allow us to forgo the constant disruption of additional three-digit area codes (actually four digits, if you include the 1). Area codes 310 and 818 could be retained for use exclusively by fax, cellular and pager numbers.

Bureaucrats acknowledge that eventually an additional digit will have to be added anyway. It would be more efficient to add the digit now. An additional benefit of revamping the telephone system now is that the system could be set up to allow multiple companies to compete to offer local telephone service on the same basis.



Los Angeles

* I would like to make a very simple, yet meaningful, suggestion to the telephone companies that are conspiring to confuse our daily lives by further splitting the Los Angeles Basin into yet more area codes. Please, instead of dividing area codes along obscure streets, why not do so along freeways?

This is a region that is intimately familiar with its freeway system--we spend a good portion of our day driving the freeways! Everyone knows whether an area is north or south of the Ventura Freeway or east of the Harbor Freeway. But we mentally struggle when determining whether a store is east of west of La Cienega. If we have to endure more area codes, at least make it tolerable.