The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is reminding residential and business customers served by the 909 area code (which includes Fontana) to prepare for the introduction of the new 840 area code next month.
The 840 area code will be added as an overlay to the 909 region to ensure a continuing supply of telephone numbers for the area. An overlay is the addition of another area code (840) to the same geographic region served by an existing area code (909), the CPUC said in a news release.
Unlike the previous 909 area code split in 1998 that required some customers to change their area code, the 909/840 area code overlay will not require customers to change their existing area code.
However, the overlay will require customers to dial “1” plus the three-digit area code for all calls from telephone numbers with the 909 and 840 area codes, including local calls.
Beginning July 25, 2020, customers with a 909 area code telephone number may begin to use this new dialing procedure to place telephone calls. The new dialing procedure will become mandatory for all customers with a 909 area code telephone number beginning Jan. 23, 2021.
Residences and businesses with the 909 area code will retain their current telephone numbers and area code.
Beginning Feb. 23, 2021, consumers requesting new or additional telephone numbers for services may be assigned telephone numbers with either the 840 or 909 area code, depending on available telephone number inventory.
----- TO PREPARE for the area code overlay, starting July 25, residents and businesses with the 909 area code (including those in Fontana) should:
• Begin dialing 1 + area code + telephone number for all calls.
• Reprogram equipment or features that currently use 7-digit dialing to dial 1 + area code + telephone number, including automatic dialers, life safety systems and medical monitoring devices, speed-dialing, call forwarding, voicemail services, modems for computers or Internet dial-up access, and other similar services or equipment.
• Ensure that alarm systems and security doors or gate systems are reprogrammed to dial 1 + area code + telephone number.
• Test telephone equipment, such as a PBX or fax machine, to determine if it can dial 1 + area code + telephone number. Questions regarding changes in telephone equipment should be directed to telephone equipment vendors.
• Update items such as stationery, checks, business cards, advertisements, promotional items, brochures, Internet webpages, personal and pet ID tags, and catalogs to reflect the area code if they don’t include the area code already.
Consumers will still be able to dial three digits to reach 911, 211, 311, 411, 511, 611, 711, and 811.
The 909/804 overlay will be the 12th overlay to be implemented in California, and more than 40 overlays have been successfully implemented in the last 10 years throughout the U.S. to meet the continual demand for more telephone numbers, the CPUC said.
The area served by the 909 area code includes the southwestern portion of San Bernardino County, the eastern portion of Los Angeles County and small portions of Orange and Riverside Counties. In addition to Fontana, the 909 area code serves the cities of Big Bear Lake, Calimesa, Chino, Chino Hills, Claremont, Colton, Diamond Bar, Eastvale, Grand Terrace, Highland, Industry, La Verne, Loma Linda, Montclair, Ontario, Pomona, Rancho Cucamonga, Redlands, Rialto, San Bernardino, San Dimas, Upland, Walnut and Yucaipa. The new 840 area code will serve the same geographic area currently served by the existing 909 area code.
For more information, consumers and businesses should contact their telephone service provider or visit: www.cpuc.ca.gov/909areacode.