Calling Cape Canaveral

Telecommunications is a serious field of business, but in Florida there’s always a little room for good humor. In the late 1990s, the 407 area code used in the Orlando region was quickly running out of new numbers to serve the area’s growing population.

The Florida Public Service Commission began holding hearings to solicit public input on solutions to the problem. Self-described telecommunications hobbyist and space enthusiast Robert Osband knew exactly what the solution ought to be.

At the time, the area served by area code 407 included Brevard County, home of Cape Canaveral and the John F. Kennedy Space Center. Osband searched a list of unused area codes and discovered that 3-2-1 was not in use at the time. What better an area code for Brevard County, he thought, than a number suggestive of a rocket launch?

The space shuttle lifts off from Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island (circa 1980s).

The space shuttle lifts off from Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island (circa 1980s).

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