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North American telephone area codes 310 and 424 are the California telephone area codes which are roughly coterminous with the West Los Angeles and South Bay areas of Los Angeles County, including Santa Catalina Island (located 26 miles (42 km) south of the mainland portion of Los Angeles County). It also includes a small portion of Ventura County. Area code 310 was split from Area code 213 on November 2, 1991; the 424 area code overlay of 310 became effective on July 26, 2006. Area code 213, which at its inception covered all of Southern California, is now reserved exclusively for a small area of central Downtown Los Angeles, having been diminished in size by the addition of the Area code 323.
Area code 424 is the first non-mobile area code overlay in Southern California. Because of this, dialers in the 310 area code are no longer able to dial a 7-digit number even if they are dialing another phone number in the same area code. Until the overlay of area codes 657 and 714 became active in 2008, the 310-424 complex was the only area code overlay in the entire state of California, despite California having more area codes than any other state.
310 was one of the first area codes to use the form N-1-0. At the time, all area codes were still required to have either 0 (zero) or 1 (one) for their middle digit, but by 1991, only five unassigned area codes remained that followed this pattern. Area codes ending in 1-0 were not possible, but this changed in the early 1990s after it became a requirement to dial a "1" before the area code to signal a long distance call. This change allowed an additional seven new area codes to become available for assignment: 210, 310, 410, 510, 610, 810, and 910. (710 was reserved for the U.S. Government.) Without these, all remaining area codes would have been assigned by 1992, but the inclusion of the seven N-1-0 numbers allowed NANPA to continue assigning new area codes with 0 or 1 in the middle digit through 1994 (when the last N-1-0 area code, 610, was assigned to parts of southeastern Pennsylvania). Area codes assigned the following year (1995) were the first to have middle digits other than 0 or 1 (area codes 334 in Alabama and 360 in Washington).
Area code 562 was originally destined to be an overlay code for cellular telephones and pagers for the existing 310 area, to go into service in late 1995, to be extended to overlay the 213 and 818 areas the following year. However the plans were changed to a simple split of 310, as the California Public Utilities Commission decided that overlay would have disadvantaged customers of smaller companies in requiring 10 digit dialling.
In lieu of executing an additional split, a new area code, the 424 overlay for the entire 310 region, was first announced in early 1999. Previously, several proposals had been made to split 310 at Imperial Highway, a major east-west thoroughfare that marks the southern boundary of Los Angeles International Airport. The South Bay below the boundary would have received area code 424. South Bay governments and businesses opposed such a move, since it would require costly changes to business cards, stationery, signage, and other business communications.
Announcement of the 424 overlay created an uproar in Los Angeles's politically powerful Westside community, in part because the change would necessitate dialing 10 digits even when calling local numbers. Championed by Los Angeles Times columnist Robert Scheer in the paper's Santa Monica insert section, a protest movement arose in May 1999, focusing on the idea of telephone-number conservation. In a carry-over from the analog phone-system days, numbers were still being distributed to telephone companies in blocks of 10,000, leading to a huge volume of unused telephone numbers in each area code. Responding to the controversy, the California Assembly passed the Consumer Area Code Relief Act of 1999 on September 9, 1999, and the 424 overlay was tabled.
Having been staved off nearly seven years, the 424 overlay was finally implemented on July 26, 2006, and new telephone numbers issued in the 310 area code may now begin with either 310 or 424. On December 31, 2005, customers began dialing 1 + area code + seven-digit number whenever a call is placed from the 310 area code. After July 26, 2006, customers were required to use the new dialing procedure for all calls.
|California area codes: 209, 213, 310, 323, 408, 415, 424, 442, 510, 530, 559, 562, 619, 626, 650, 657, 661, 707, 714, 747, 760, 805, 818, 831, 858, 909, 916, 925, 949, 951|
|North: 805, 747/818|
|West: Pacific Ocean, 808||area code 310/424 includes islands offshore||East: 323, 562|
|South: Pacific Ocean|
|Hawaii area codes: 808|