Palm Springs and the rest of the Coachella Valley will soon be required to use ten digits to make all local calls, even if it’s to your next door neighbor. This change comes as the result of the California Public Utilities Commission having determined that we will be running out of new phone numbers for the 760 prefix in about two years. So a new area code – 442 will be added or overlaid, as they are explaining.
Beginning on May 2, at 12:01am, we are permitted to dial 1 and the area code 760 and then the seven digit number. We are being given this transition period to get used to the necessity of dialing ten digits, until October 24th when it will become mandatory. This is our practice period. Shortly thereafter, on November 21, the area code of 442 will be available for assignation to new customers. From that time on, there will be the two area codes for our area – overlaid, or co-existing in the same area, thus the requirement to dial all ten digits.
Rather than splitting a large geographical area and forcing half of the populace to change to a new area code as was their original intent, the commission, after much feedback from constituents, decided instead to allow all those current residential customers and current business customers to keep their numbers and 760 area code. For businesses this avoids the expense and effort of converting to a new number in all signage, stationery, business cards, and other necessary notifications that would be required for all of us.
The 760 area code was created in 1991 when it split off from the 619 code in the lower San Diego area. Geographically we are part of the largest area code within California, consisting of 46, 666 square miles, or 29% of the state.
For more information go to CPUC.