Starting in January 1999 the San Jose area will juggle a second telephone area code -- and a 1-plus-area-code dialing sequence -- even for local calls. Local businesses should prepare. Since 1995, 72 area codes across the U.S. and Canada have split geographically, with 13 overlays added. With an overlay, a geographic area receives a second area code for new customers and certain services. More than 120 additional areas will exhaust their supply of numbers under current area codes within less than a decade, forecasts the North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA). The reson for the dwindling supply of numbers, burgeoning demand from population and business expansion, wireless services, and multiple in-home lines. NANPA's tips for businesses facing splits or overlays:
- Change stationery, business cards, and advertising to reflect the area code.
- Update fax machine group calling lists to include 1-plus-10-digit numbers.
- Reprogram speed dialers, auto dialers, alarms, and PBX.
- Reprogram dialing lists on personal computers.