Capitol Alert

AM Alert: PUC to discuss new Sacramento area code

Antique phones for sale at the Alameda Point Antiques Faire. The California Public Utilities Commission is holding a meeting Monday to discuss adding an additional area code for the Sacramento region. Sacramento has used the 916 area code since 1947.
Antique phones for sale at the Alameda Point Antiques Faire. The California Public Utilities Commission is holding a meeting Monday to discuss adding an additional area code for the Sacramento region. Sacramento has used the 916 area code since 1947. mcrisostomo@sacbee.com

Are 10-digit local calls in the capital’s future?

The California Public Utilities Commission is holding a meeting to discuss adding a new area code to the Sacramento region, which currently uses the area code 916. The commission expects to run out of phone numbers in the first quarter of 2018 due to increased demand.

Each area code has approximately 7.9 million available phone numbers, according to Joseph R. Cocke, an official with the North American Numbering Plan Administration, which allocates them. Cocke said Friday that the 916 area code has used up 93 percent of its available prefixes (the 3 digits after the area code in a phone number) and has only 53 prefixes left, which translates to 530,000 usable phone numbers available.

Adding a new area code would not affect existing lines, but people requesting phone numbers after March 2018 could get new area codes. The plan would, however, eliminate 7-digit local calling since there would be multiple area codes in the region.

The 916 area code was created in 1947 as one of California’s three original area codes. The area code covers most of Sacramento and Placer Counties as well as parts of Yolo, Sutter, Solano and El Dorado Counties.

The meeting will take place at 1 pm at Sacramento City Hall.

GAME ON: The Assembly governmental organization committee holds the first of two informational hearings Monday over the new tribal gaming compacts recently renegotiated by Gov. Jerry Brown. Representatives from the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians and the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians will testify before the committee. The informational hearings are required before a floor vote on the compacts and must take place two days in advance, meaning the deals could get an up-or-down vote by the Legislature as early as Thursday.

WORTH REPEATING: “Retirement of the plant will make a mockery of California’s decarbonization efforts.” – Nuclear power advocates, in a letter to Gov. Jerry Brown urging that the Legislature weigh in on closing the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant

A PENNY SAVED: The Board of Administration of California’s public employee pension fund, CalPERS, is beginning a three-day meeting on Monday. Among other things, the board’s investment committee is expected to approve a new five-year global governance plan that lays out how the nation’s biggest pension fund will work on sustainable investing. Among other things, the 6-point plan calls on CalPERS to continue work to increase diversity on the boards of the publicly traded companies it invests in.

CELEBRATING: Happy birthday to U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Los Angeles, who is turning 78.

Anshu Siripurapu: 916-321-1060, @AnshuSiripurapu

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