bill your number
They used to be the technology of the future. Smartphones and tablets were going to transform the way we connected with each other. But sometimes, I think the future is already here: adding an area code to an existing area code — as smartphones and tablets continue to feature phones with dozens and dozens of calls in a row. This is happening in Washington.
The current 954 area code (out of a possible 100 in Washington) has more than 1.1 million residents on it. Some of those calls go to the state’s 213 area code, which has at least 2.4 million residents. If companies like Comcast change their billing and customer service systems, the company may be able to charge more to those who have regional and area codes as opposed to just national numbers. “Each customer gets a specific line number, so that you don’t accidentally have two of the same number in your pocket,” said Julie Ragan-Davis, spokeswoman for Comcast. But Ragan-Davis said the company may be able to accommodate that demand for an extra number. “What we do is look to balance those two different challenges, and yes, our goal has been to make sure that the customer has appropriate options,” she said.
A company like T-Mobile already does it — adding another cell phone number to a particular area code. The reason it’s being done now is simple: Texas — which only has one area code, 210 — last month said the state would add 2 to the area code, forcing service providers to add an extra 8 to the area code. Like every state in the United States, Texas now requires customers of out-of-market area codes to pay for a separate cell phone number.
Now, Maryland has added a number. And if that number doesn’t get assigned in the area you live in, it could mean, you may be charged more. Maryland is changing its area code and will add a new 885 area code (but you may get a 269 area code, since some 488 area codes are already exhausted). The change took effect today. Those with areas codes 876 or 838 can receive 800 service, and those with area codes 855 can receive 855 area codes.