State to ask federal regulators to give mobile devices their own area codes

The Associated Press
Saturday September 30, 2000

SACRAMENTO – California will try to slow the proliferation of area codes by allowing separate codes for devices such as pagers and cellular telephones. 

Gov. Gray Davis signed a bill Friday directing the state Public Utilities Commission to ask federal regulators for permission to create area codes exclusively for such mobile devices. 

Backers said that would ease the need to create new geographic area codes that inconvenience customers. 

The new area codes would be used for cellular phones, fax machines, pagers and modems. 

“California should employ all possible conservation efforts before burdening businesses and consumers with additional area code changes,” Davis said Friday. 

The number of area codes in California has jumped from 13 in 1997 to 25 last year. 

The growth has been spurred by the emergence of new telephone companies, the growth in technology that has resulted in pagers, cell phones, Internet service, fax machines and point-of-sale credit card verification terms that require their own telephone lines.