Cellphone numbers


Megan and Gregory, our youngest children, are now at University in Victoria. Part of the long list of things we needed to do when settling them in to their new lives at UVic was sort out their cellphones. They both have cellphone plans already. This was a real time saver as we did not have to work our way through a whole bunch of complicated options. That is something I will write about when I have the strength.

This time I just wanted to mention the odd way that numbers are issued. Until a few years back there were only two area codes to cover the whole of BC. In Vancouver you got a 604 number and everywhere else you got a 250 number. Then in 2001, as numbers within each area code began to run low, they added a new area code – 778. This is still a second class area code, a sign that you got your phone recently.

So Megan had a 778 number in Vancouver and Gregory a 604 one. Now in Victoria they both need a local number so that don’t end up paying long distance charges when calling their friends. Their cellphone companies (Virgin and Rogers respectively) simply give them a┬ánew 250 number. Their old number is allocated to someone else after 6 months.

This simple process has one drawback – almost every student seems to need to do it. So this weekend, when students across Canada are going back to school, is the busiest of the year. Greg waited an hour to change his number. Megan was luckier and got hers done pretty quickly.

I guess there is some sense in this process. But it seems crazy, especially when some kids change their numbers even when they come home for a short break! No wonder numbers are in short supply.

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