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University Area Code Is Changing to 657

March 31, 2009

By Pamela McLaren

There’s a new number coming to campus — the three-digit area code to call Cal State Fullerton’s main campus is changing May 30. The main campus will be using the latest area code for the county: 657.

The additional area code was added by the California Public Utilities Commission to meet the increasing needs for additional phone numbers from throughout the county, said Marci Payne, manager of campus telecommunications.

The new area code does not make calling the campus a long distance call as long as the calls are made in the 714/657 area code overlay area — Anaheim, Brea, Buena Park, Costa Mesa, Cypress, Fountain Valley, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, La Habra, La Mirada, La Palma, Orange, Placentia, Santa Ana, Westminster and Yorba Linda, noted Payne.

While the commission was considering a new area code to “overlay” over the county, Cal State Fullerton was dealing with its own shortage of 278 prefix numbers. The solution, said Payne, was to go with the use of the new area code and “purchase” of all available 278 prefixes.

“We currently have about 7,000 phone numbers on campus and we know that our need will increase over time,” explained Payne. “By purchasing the entire 278 prefix, that will make available 10,000 telephone numbers.

“We have been without available 278 lines for a while and have actually been changing on-campus-only phone numbers to something other than 278- to make more of those numbers available for use on telephone lines used by the public to reach campus,” she added.

The area code change affects calls to all campus land lines, whether an office phone, alarm or fax — and only if being called from off campus. It doesn’t affect university-purchased cell phones as the various cell companies have no control over any of the 657 area code at this time, Payne said.

Offices will have to reprogram their fax and/or copier machines with the new area code. Individuals who use signature lines on email messages will have to modify their signature lines to reflect the new area code for office and fax. Changing the area code for Fax Senior accounts — faxes received through email — will be handled by Information Technology.

“Our concern now is to get the word out, so we’re asking the campus community to start telling their family, friends, students or business clients of the change,” said Payne. “After May 30 — for the majority of our phone lines — if they call the campus using 714 instead of 657, they will hear a message stating that the number they dialed is no longer in service. About 200 phone lines considered critical numbers will carry a message through Sept. 15 informing callers that the area code has changed and to hang up and redial using 657.”

For more information, read the “Frequently Asked Questions” or contact Marci Payne at 278-3451 or

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