Editorial: Protect the 207 

There can only be one. Maine area code, that is. But those days are numbered unless the Federal Communications Commission acts. Available 207 area code phone numbers are projected to run out in 2024.  

Having just one area code for all the Pine Tree State is both convenience and common ground. It’s fewer numbers to punch in on a phone or squeeze on a business sign. Some proud Mainers have 207 tattoos. For the less committed, there are hats. You can find them at a local shop called (wait for it) 207mainer, among other places.  

Protecting the 207 has united Maine’s congressional delegation, who have informed the FCC that “for Mainers, 207 is synonymous with their home state, and it would be a great disappointment to lose this one-to-one link – especially if it can be reasonably avoided.” Hear, hear. As our national representatives and the Maine Public Utilities Commission point out, only 37 percent of the potential number combinations within our present area code are in use. There are old, unused numbers waiting to be given new life preceded by those three familiar digits. 

Maine is 201 years old and has had a single area code for 74 of them. We like it and we’ve had enough change. The FCC should grant the petition to use number optimizations strategies in Maine. Consider it a belated birthday gift for a belated party. 

And in that vein, there’s another way for Mainers to come together. The state bicentennial parade, postponed in 2020 because of the pandemic, steps off at 10 a.m. this Saturday, Aug. 21, in Auburn and Lewiston. More than 80 parade units will join to commemorate the state’s history. The Maine200 Bicentennial Marching Band featuring musicians of all ages from across the state will perform.  

Call a friend and tell them all about it.  

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