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PREVIEW

Public Hearings on 310 Area Code Split

April 23, 2001|Elizabeth Douglass

The state's most controversial area code change--the addition of the 424 code in the region now covered by 310--is not yet a done deal, but today and Tuesday may be consumers' last chance to protest it. The California Public Utilities Commission is holding public meetings today in Carson and Redondo Beach and Tuesday in Culver City to hear opinions about its current plan for 310--to split it in half along Imperial Highway, leaving West Los Angeles communities within 310 and assigning the new 424 code to the South Bay region. In February, the five-member commission approved the plan to split 310, but it did not set a timetable for the change. The public hearings are being held to discuss the plan and the split's proposed boundaries. Regulators have been struggling with the 310 code issue for several years. After holding public hearings in late 1997, the PUC approved plans to add a 424 "overlay" code throughout the 310 region, with a mix of 424 and 310 phone numbers intermingled in the same geographic region. The overlay plan was to take effect in July 1999, but was abruptly halted amid protests, mostly from residents of Santa Monica and other West Los Angeles communities.

Residents and businesses alike objected to the overlay plan, which triggered a shift to 10-digit dialing (including the relevant area code) on all calls, even those within the same area code. State regulators revoked the overlay plan and instituted number-conservation policies that postponed the need for a new area code in 310 for two years.

Today's hearings will be held at 2 p.m. at the Carson City Hall Council Chambers, 701 East Carson St.; and then at 7 p.m. at the Redondo Beach main library, 303 North Pacific Coast Highway. Tuesday's meeting will be held at 2 p.m. at Culver City City Hall Council Chambers, 9770 Culver Blvd.

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