area codes

glee, you said:

I respectfully beg to differ. According to the official UK number change site:

So the 7 and 8 are part of the local number, not the area code.

Simply replacing 0171 with 0207 and 0181 with 0208 would have meant a lot of annoyance with no increase in London number capacity. Creating the new 020 code and making the 7 and 8 the beginning of new eight-digit local numbers meant that additional ranges of eight-digit local numbers could be opened in London when needed: (020) 6XXX XXXX, (020) 5XXX XXXX, and so on.


Please remember that you are different from telephone companies - you’re sensible!

You quote the official UK number change site correctly.

But look at it from the point of view of a simple phone user.

I appreciate that they have to makes changes to cope with mobiles, fax + computer lines.
But they’ve constantly said ‘this will be the last change for ages’, and in the process changed BOTH the area and the local codes.

My family has about 8 numbers but have a home office.

NYC has 5 area codes 212,646 in Manhattan 718, 347 for the other 4 borros and 917 wireless overlay.

When area codes get used up - it seems like there are 3 ways to help out:

1 move all wireless to a new area code
2 split the area into 2 codes
3 overlay the area w/ another code
the 3rd one I think is the most short-sighted as it would be much more complex to split it later or even use a 3rd overlay.

With adoption of broadband isp’s and more dependence on and inovation in the internet, I perdict that the rate of growth in phone numbers will slow and may even reverse.

Nor can they begin with “1” (signal to switch to long distance) nor “#11” numbers, like “011” (international call), “211” (repair IIRC), “411” (information), or “911” (police/fire emergency).

Although, there is a local joke that Washington DC is getting a new area code for Southeast DC: 911.

[sub](To those that don’t get it: SE DC is the city’s notorious drug & gang area, where at least 90% of violent crime occurs.)[/sub]

they do give area codes out as nnx (exchange numbers) thats why you have to dial 1 before the area code.
a phone number can’t start with
and there are more

Thanks. My online persona seems to be working quite efficiently! :slight_smile:

Yes, I admit it seems chaotic and annoying… :slight_smile: They almost didn’t need to do the 0171/0181 split at all.
Actually, it was 01 originally, right? Then it went to 71 and 81? Or did the split happen after they put the 1 on the front of all the area codes?

The first six digets of a phone number are known as the NPA-NXX.

NPA = Network Provisioning Assignment (area code)

NXX = “The Next Three Numbers” (exchange)

On a related topic, there is a movement for complete number portability. This means once you have a phone number, you will keep it wherever you go. I can imagine someday you’ll be assigned a phone number when you’re born, and that will be your phone number for the rest of your life. (This is assuming we will still be using “phones” in the future. They’ll probably call it a Decimal Communication Location Interger or something like that.

Doesn’t 1 denote a long distance call? In Atlanta (area codes 770, 404, and 678) you don’t have to dial 1 before another local area code, but that may be because we have 10 digit dialing (you have to dial the area code all the time, even if you’re calling a number in the same area code). It is strange because some areas in the 706 area code (northern Georgia outside of Metro Atlanta) require a 1, whereas others do not.


London codes went:

01 local
071 / 081 local
0171 / 0181 local
020 7local / 8local

Chaotic and annoying indeed.

Yes, I realised that after I’d gone back and reread your earlier post. :slight_smile:

It look like they’d done a split of 01 to 071/081, realized that this wasn’t going to give them nearly enough numbers in the long run, then worked out the current “family” of codes, and put the 1 in fromt of all the area codes to start off that plan…