One Month Left for 407 In Brevard

      Robert Osband

PO Box 6841
Titusville   FL
USA   32782

(+1 321 543-8633)


In only a month, 407 will no longer be the Area Code for Brevard County. Are you giving out your phone number with the 321 Area code yet? If not, you have Robert Osband's permission to do so. If you're wondering what gives him the right, he'll tell you, "It's my Area Code. I asked for it, they approved it, so it's mine, right?", he jokingly asks with a quirky smile. "But I share!", he quickly adds.

Osband took a night off from work as a Directory Assistance operator to present his idea at a public hearing of the Florida Public Service Commission in Orlando in September of 1998. The idea that the "countdown capital of the world" should have area code 321 was well received by the commission. Approval of the Area code came in December of that year, with the first day of "permissive dialing" on November 1, 1999, where both 407 and 321 area codes would reach Brevard County telephones.

Governor Bush placed the first official phone call into the county using the new area code from the Public Service Commission Hearing Room in Tallahassee that morning. "I was there at the Kennedy Space Center, along with Deputy Director James Jennings, who took the call," Osband explains. Space Center Director Roy Bridges was with the governor in Tallahassee when the call was placed. (photos at <>)

While most people look at the "Mandatory Use Date" of October 1, 2000 when 321 becomes the only area code usable to reach Brevard County telephones, Osband says, "People should really think of September 30 as the last day of use for 407". He says that as a directory assistance operator, he takes many calls from elderly callers who say, "I've used this number for years, and now I get some darn recording". Osband says that's his cue to ask what city the caller is dialing, and check to see if a new area code is in use.

It is quite common these days for a family to have their home phone, a cell phone for each parent, a pager on each child, and a second line for a computer. This uses up a lot of telephone numbers, and necessitates new area codes.

"The process was interesting to watch," says Osband. The PSC took public comments into consideration, responding especially to representatives of the AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) who suggested that Brevard be completely split from Orlando so that our county could maintain 7 digit dialing for local calls.

321 is an "overlay" on the rest of the 407 area code (except for Deland which borders the 904 area code), requiring residents in Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties to use 10 digit dialing for local calls, under FCC (Federal Communication Commission) guidelines for overlay area codes. 321 numbers in the overlay area will only be issued after all exchanges have been used up in 407.

As proof that the number was available for use as Brevard's area code, Osband brought printouts with him to the hearing from his research on the Internet. He'd found the web site of the North American Numbering Plan Administration, and noticed that the number 321 was marked as "Available for Geographic Relief". Osband says, "That's when I made the desicion to take the night off from work. I think it was worth it!" So if you haven't switched over to giving out your number as 321, you need to get used to it in a hurry. 30 days hath September - and then 407 is no more in Brevard!

-- 30 --

References on the World Wide Web can be found at http://SpaceyIdeas.Com/publicity/chronology.html, including links to the Mr Osband's testimony before the PSC, the PSC's "Report And Order", and downloadable photos.

Mr Osband can be reached at (321) LIFTOFF (+1 321 543-8633). Special thanks to BellSouth Mobility for the phone number.

This document is http://SpaceyIdeas.Com/publicity/407release.html