Zach Donnenfield | Mustang News

Beginning June 30, 2018, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) will issue phone numbers with an 820 area code to customers in the San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties.

To call a number with the 805 area code, callers will have to dial 1 plus the 805 area code plus the seven-digit telephone number for all calls starting Dec. 1, 2017.

According to the CPUC, there are a limited number of combinations of prefixes available to be used with an area code. Eventually, there will be no more prefixes available for assignment. When this happens and more numbers must be made available, another area code must be used.

There will be a grace period between Dec. 1, 2017 and June 2, 2018 when calls without an area code included can still be completed, according to San Luis Obispo Police Department Sgt. Jeff Booth.

By June 2, 2018, seven-digit calls will be answered by an automated system informing the caller to hang-up and try the call again with the area code.

Fax machines and emergency dispatch systems will be reprogrammed to include +1 and the 820 area code.

Some Central Coast residents are uneasy, as the beloved 805 brand could become diluted when replaced with 820.

“It just seems awfully weird to me to introduce another area code,” business administration senior James Castles said. “The 805 is so much more than just an area code, it stands for the smooth and carefree Central Coast living.”

Many restaurants, breweries and even retail stores have adopted the 805 brand. Firestone Walker Brewing Company in Paso Robles is well known for its iconic 805 beers. 

“It’s more than just a beer, it’s a culture,” agricultural business junior Tori Taormina said. “Everyone is proud to be a part of it.”

On-campus dining complex 19 Metro Station was recently renamed 805 Kitchen.

Cal Poly Corporation Communication Specialist Aaron Lambert said the addition of the 820 area code was considered when renaming 19 Metro Station. However, Lambert said 805 more accurately represented Cal Poly and the surrounding area.

“The appellation stuck considering that the 805 area code is iconic and is forever branded with the Central Coast lifestyle,” Lambert wrote in an email. “The number defines the region.”

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