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New O.C. Area Code Just Down the Line

TIMES STAFF WRITER; Greg Miller covers high technology for The Times

Pacific Bell has scheduled a series of meetings to allow public discussion of plans for a new Orange County area code.

The county is rapidly running out of telephone numbers, largely because of the proliferation of faxes, pagers and computer modems. To address this shortage, a new area code will be introduced in Orange County, possibly as soon as December 1997.

There are three proposals for the new code, including two that involve splitting the county along geographic boundaries. A third proposal--called an overlay--would allow 714 customers to keep their area code, but would require new customers to use a different code.

The geographic splits would force half the county’s population to switch area codes. And the overlay would require all Orange County residents, including those who keep their 714 codes, to dial 11 digits for local calls.

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The meetings are set for June 18 in Mission Viejo, June 19 in Fullerton and June 20 in Huntington Beach. The meetings will be in each city’s council chambers at 7 p.m.

For more information, call (800) 455-6914. Those who cannot attend the meetings can write to Bruce Bennett, California Area Code Relief Coordinator, 2600 Camino Ramon, Room 1S900V, San Ramon CA 94583.

Greg Miller can be reached at (714) 966-7830 and at greg.miller@latimes.com


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