The 818 area code was created in 1984 when it was geographically split from the 213 area code. In 1997 the 818 was split again creating the 626 area code. The 818 serves the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles County in Southern California.
Despite the introduction of the 626 area code to provide relief to the 818 area code, the North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA) determined the 818 area code required further relief in early 1998. On October 7, 1999, by Decision 99-10-022, the CPUC ordered the implementation of a variety of conservation measures to address the exhaustion of numbers in the 818 area code. As a back-up plan, the CPUC adopted a geographic split, but deferred an implementation date until and unless it could be determined that number conservation measures have failed to provide enough numbering resources to facilitate competition in the 818 area code.
In November 2000, the CPUC Telecommunications Division (now the Communications Division) issued an 818 area code report as directed by D.99-12-051. The utilization study showed that in spite of a shortage of prefixes, of the 7.9 million usable numbers in the 818 area code, approximately 3.9 million, or roughly half, were not in use. The study indicated that implementation of mandatory number pooling would have a significant effect on the availability of numbers not in use. Local number pooling capability is a prerequisite to the implementation of number pooling. At the time of the report (2001) wireline carriers were required to implement local number portability, wireless carriers were not. The report, noting that if wireless carriers were required to participate in number pooling that at that time, 199 prefixes and 369 numbering blocks would be made available to the pool.
In 2002, wireless carriers became local number portability capable and were ordered to participate in number pooling. Number pooling and number conservation measures implemented in D.99-09-067 have extended the life of the 818 area code and delayed the need for an area code change.
In 2007, NANPA notified the Commission that given the current usage and the supply of prefixes available for assignment that the 818 would run out of additional prefixes in the third quarter of 2009. Relief planning meetings were implemented and two alternatives were developed to present to the affected customers in 818.
In October 2007, the CPUC and NANPA held local jurisdiction meetings and public meetings in Glendale, Burbank, Calabasas, San Fernando and Van Nuys. Two options were presented for the introduction of a new area code – 657. These were a geographic split (map) and an overlay. The public overwhelmingly supported the overlay option if a new area code had to be introduced. (818 Public Meeting Report).
Using the feedback received at the public meetings and the consensus of the industry, NANPA filed A.07-12-018 on December 18, 2007. The CPUC adopted D.08-04-059 in April 2008. This decision ordered that the new area code, 747, be introduced using an all services overlay. The implementation date for the 747 overlay and 10 + 1 digit dialing in the 818 is April 18, 2009.