The California Public Utilities Commission urged telephone users in the 909 area code Thursday to begin preparing for the introduction of the state’s newest area code — 840 — which will be added to ensure a continuing supply of telephone numbers for the region.

Residential and business customers with telephone numbers in the 909 area code were advised to prepare for the area code overlay by dialing 1 plus the area code and telephone number for all calls, beginning July 25.

The 11-digit dialing process will be mandatory, starting Jan. 23, for all customers with a telephone number in the 909-area code, which includes the eastern portion of Los Angeles County, small portions of Orange and Riverside counties and the southwestern portion of San Bernardino County.

Telephone customers in the 909 area code were also asked to:

— Reprogram equipment or features that currently use seven-digit dialing to dial 1 plus the area code and 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 plus the area code and telephone number;

— Test telephone equipment, such as a PBX or fax machine, to determine if it can dial 1 plus the area code and telephone number;

— 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 already include the area code.

Customers will still to be able to dial 911, 211, 311, 411, 511, 611, 711 and 811 through a three-digit dialing process.

Residences and businesses within the 909 area code will retain their current telephone numbers and area code, with customers who request new or additional telephone numbers set to be assigned telephone numbers in either the 909 or 840 area codes depending on availability, starting next July.

The 909/804 overlay will be the 12th to be implemented in the state in an effort to meet the continuing demand for new telephone numbers.

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