History of area codes - when was the first call to a number?
In the UK, Subscriber Trunk Dialling (STD) was possible prior to 5th December 1958 when the Queen inaugurated trunk dialling and made the first official call to a phone number. The Queen, publicised this new way of calling by dialling Edinburgh, which was the farthest distance a call could be dialled directly. The STD system was technically completed in 1979 and allowed subscribers on one exchange to dial non-local subscribers. Previous to this a subscriber would need to dial an operator to connect the call for them
An STD code (now referred to as area code) was allocated to each area of the UK and was required to connect calls dialled directly.
How are area codes determined?
Area codes were initially assigned to phone numbers based on the volume of telephone calls made in each area. The most populous areas such as Birmingham, Edinburgh, Liverpool and Manchester were assigned the area codes that required the least time for dialling using a rotary dial telephone.
London Calling - 020 phone numbers
What is the area code for Greater London? "0207"? "0208"? This is a common misconception that seems to be widespread across the UK. The actual area code for Greater London and some of its surrounding area is "020" followed by the phone number which is 8 digits. The confusion seems to have been brought about during the Big Number Change in 2000 and has been reported by Ofcom since the publication of a report it commissioned in 2004. So, when you are looking for a number for your business, remember, it’s only the first 3 digits that make it a London phone number.
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