New 628 area code approved for San Francisco

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If your area code is 415, big changes are in store this year. State officials have approved a new calling procedure for most and a new area code for others.

If your area code is 415, big changes are in store for you this year. State officials have approved a new calling procedure for most and a new area code for others.

Starting February 21, anyone trying to call someone in San Francisco or Marin will have to add 1 and the area code to complete the call.

Things like security systems and fax machines will have to be reprogrammed.

It's one of the changes the California PUC ordered last year because 415 is running out. But an even bigger change is coming to anyone who gets a new phone service.

Beginning in March, a totally separate area code will be added -- 628.

"I'm really not for 628. It's splitting the city up, splitting the old-school San Francisco up," Mike Kelly said.

Kelly is a San Francisco native who takes pride in the 415.

"There are only two cool area codes in the world, 415 and 212," consumer psychologist Kit Yarrow said.

When New York's 212 was split, Johanna Lacoe ended up with the unpopular 646. Her husband still had his Boston 617 and, even though they've moved to San Francisco, they won't try to gobble up one of the last remaining 415 numbers.

"Hey, we're just happy to be able to afford to live in San Francisco. We don't care about our phone numbers," Lacoe said.

Yarrow believes area codes do have meaning. "There's emotional currency around that. It's an identifier and people are so connected and attached to their phones," she said.

Yarrow said 415 has an allure that 628 won't match.

"Yeah, you're right. It does have cachet, almost in an old technology way," resident Sidath Perera said.

Perera, who has a 650 number, said phone numbers are becoming irrelevant. "Any new kind of messaging app or calling application uses your email address," he said.

So do not hate on the 628 and remember -- with 415, when it doubt dial it out.
Related Topics:
technologybusinesscellphonesmartphonesarea codetelephoneSan FranciscoMarin
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