New 820 Area Code Starts in December

New 820 Area Code Starts in December title=
New 820 Area Code Starts in December
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Source: California Public Utilities Commission

On May 28, 2017, the CPUC acted to ensure that phone numbers continue to be available to meet demand in the geographic region served by the 805 area code by approving an area code overlay. The overlay will provide additional numbering resources while minimizing customer inconvenience. With the 805/820 area code overlay, customers must dial "1" plus the three-digit area code for all calls from telephone numbers with the 805 and 820 area codes.  Customers may begin to use this new dialing procedure on December 1, 2017, when residents and businesses with an 805 area code telephone number may begin dialing 1+ area code + seven digit telephone number when making all local calls.  The new dialing procedure will become mandatory for all residential and business customers on June 2, 2018.  The new area code that will be added to the 805 region, which serves small portions of Monterey and Kern Counties and most of San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura Counties, is 820. Read our press release for more information. You can also read our reminder!

The process began on November 17, 2016, when the North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA) filed an application (A.16-11-008) with the CPUC to introduce a new area code to the area now served by the 805 area code.

The 805 area code was forecasted to use up all its available prefixes by the 4th quarter of 2017. Adding a new area code to the 805 area code region provides additional prefixes and ensure new telephone numbers are available for the new customers.  The telecommunications service providers proposed to add the new area code using the overlay method.

Public Meetings were held on August 22 and 23, 2016, in the Cities of Oxnard, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo.  At these meetings, two options for introduction of the new area code were discussed and explained.

  1.  All services overlay:

Under this option, all existing 805 area code telephone numbers would have retained their 805 area code and 7-digit telephone numbers. The new area code would be introduced and new telephone numbers might be assigned with the new area code.  When the overlay is implemented, all calls, even local calls, made from 805 area code numbers will have to be dialed using 1 + area code +7-digit telephone number.

  1.  Split:

The split option for the 805 area code, with the split line at the Santa Barbara/Ventura County line, would have resulted in a projected life of 61 years on one side of the split line, and a projected life of 35 years on the other side of the split line.  The 26-year difference in the projected lives on the two sides of the split line would not have met the telecommunications industry area code relief criteria, and would need to be suspended pending Federal Communications Commission direction.

Attendees spoke at the meetings and provided written comments about their concerns.  While most attendees supported the overlay option, because it allows them to keep their existing phone numbers and area code, some attendees preferred the split option, as they found the 1 + 10-digit dialing associated with an overlay to be burdensome and wanted to maintain the 7-digit dialing within their own area code.

805 Public Meeting Materials

805 Public Meeting Staff Report


The 805 area code was introduced when it was split off of the 213 area code in June 1957. The 805 area code was split again when the 661 area code was split off in 1999.

The area served by the 805 area code includes small portions of Monterey and Kern Counties and most of San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties.  The 805 area code serves the cities of Arroyo Grande, Atascadero, Grover Beach, Morro Bay, Pismo Beach and San Luis Obispo in San Luis Obispo County; Buellton, Carpinteria, Goleta, Guadalupe, Lompoc, Santa Barbara, Santa Maria and Solvang in Santa Barbara County; Camarillo, Fillmore, Moorpark, Ojai, Oxnard, Port Hueneme, Santa Paula, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks and Ventura in Ventura County.

The 805 area code is bordered on the north by the 831 area code; to the east by the 559 area code and the 661 area code, to southeast by the 747/818 area code overlay complex, and to the south by the 310/424 area code overlay complex.

805 Area Code Background 

The CPUC appreciates public feedback concerning area code relief for the 805 area code.  You may submit comments by:

  • postal mail to CPUC Public Advisor’s Office, 320 W. 4th Street, Suite 500, Los Angeles, CA 90013,
  • email to [email protected], or
  • calling the Area Code Hotline number at (866) 340-6147.
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LocalsOnly Nov 04, 2017 07:36 AM
New 820 Area Code Starts in December

Is anyone befuddled by the fact that telecom companies don't implement protocols that make it unnecessary to require people with a US number to dial +1? Or just make it so anyone who doesn't type in an area code for a phone call will just call the person with the dialed number in the same area code? It really wouldn't be difficult.

Flicka Nov 03, 2017 10:27 AM
New 820 Area Code Starts in December

Well, REX, sounds complicated to me. I'm sure we both remember when a lot of SB numbers had only 4 numbers, I think the News-Press was 3911. We lived in Montecito and it was a long distance call to Carpinteria; 10 cents and had to go through the operator. "Those were the days, my friend, we thought they'd never end".

REX OF SB Nov 03, 2017 08:37 AM
New 820 Area Code Starts in December

Having to dial 10 digits instead of seven is the price we have to pay for getting to keep our 805 area code—and even that probably isn't as bad as it seems. I'd bet that 95% of the calls you make are already in your phone's directory, so all you have to do is press one number, so it doesn't matter if it includes an area code.

edsup Nov 02, 2017 09:14 PM
New 820 Area Code Starts in December

Minimizing customer inconvenience? I must dial "1" plus the three-digit area code for ALL calls from telephone numbers with the 805 and 820 area codes? This is minimizing? Seriously? Surely you jest!

a-1582089575 Nov 03, 2017 11:00 AM
New 820 Area Code Starts in December

Thankfully I have done this for years, just for the convenience of not having to dial the area code when I was out of town. But if Rex is correct, now I have to go in and put the 1 in front. No biggie though, do it once and you're done, and then do it that way when you add new numbers. Easy peasy!

REX OF SB Nov 02, 2017 04:07 PM
New 820 Area Code Starts in December

Yep. Funny you should mention that—I just got through doing that very thing a couple of hours ago. (And who says i don't have a life?) Oh yeah, don't forget to put the "1" before the 805.

Lucky 777 Nov 02, 2017 08:08 AM
New 820 Area Code Starts in December

Presumably mobile phones will still just need the 7-digit? Or am I horrified by the inconvenience of needing plus-one and the area code for ALL calls?

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