Sunday, September 08, 2013

The Dreaded 484

In the first Sex And The City movie, when Carrie has to replace her phone and realizes she can't get her 917 back, she whines, "But I've ALWAYS been a 917 girl."

Until 1993, all of southeastern and east central PA, including Philly and the Lehigh Valley, was 215 country. Then around 1998 the phone company started running out of 215s. So, the Valley got its own code - 610. Not too long after, cell phones became popular, and the advent of the 484/610 overlay area began. 484 and 610 cover the exact same geographic area, but... 610 numbers are scarce, so most newcomers get a number with 484.

484? What kind of an area code is that? 

That's what a lot of locals thought, and they've fought tooth and nail to keep their 610 numbers and get a 610 area code for their cell phone number, too. Area codes can be a status symbol. And for Lehigh Valley natives, 610 means: I've been here a while. Nothing is so quick to distinguish a newcomer, than filling out a form and entering 484 in the home phone field. 

This came up recently when an acquaintance was selecting a contractor to do work in her home. 610 means this guy's been in business for a while, she reasoned. 484... you never know about those people.

Natives, pray tell: have you held tight to your 610 number? Newcomers, had you even thought of this? 


  1. Love this post, what good insider insight. I never thought about it as a transplant because I held tight to my out of state area code--that to me was a status symbol!

  2. I am a little smug about my 610 cell phone area code. And it would be a rare circumstance that would make me willing to give it up.

  3. Anonymous11/20/2013

    I've had my 610 cell phone number since 1995. Nearly 20 years. And all but 1 year of that was with Verizon. When I switched the Nextel & back a few years ago, I paid a lot of extra money to transfer my number between carriers, but it is worth it. For me, its not so much the 610 part, but the whole number that I am not willing to part with! And, I'm pretty proud to say that I've had the same cell number for so long ;-)