Telephone Prefixes

A telephone prefix in the US is the first three digits of a local telephone number, and it generally corresponds to a locality. On Kauai, each prefix is about the size of a town, so knowing the prefix can tell you where you are calling. This information is often buried in the phone book, and access is limited on the web, so I thought I’d publish it here for reference. I have also added the cell phone networks that I know of and sorted the table by prefix to make it easier to scan.

Of course, now that numbers can be kept when changing between landline and cell phone operators, these geographical assignments will slowly become inaccurate.

Prefix Phone Location
Lihue (incl. Hanamaulu, Puhi)
332 Kalaheo
335 Hanapepe
337 Kekaha
338 Waimea
639 ATT/Cingular Wireless
? Wireless
Verizon Wireless
654 ? Wireless
742 Koloa (incl. Poipu)
Kapaa (incl. Wailua, Waipouli, Kawaihau, Kapahi, Kealia)
828 Kilauea
991 Unknown

Update: The August 19, 2007, edition of the Garden Island newspaper had a guest article that gives some history of the the telephone system on Kauai, back when they had operators connecting manual switches. In the 1950’s, a call from Koloa to Lihue (15 miles, 24 km) was a 15-cent long distance charge, calls to Oahu used one of the first AM radio links in the world, and communication with Niihau was by carrier pigeon. I found a 1963 article that says the pigeons were supplemented, but not replaced, with a radio-telephone, but I suppose they’re gone today. That article also says that Niihau was the only precinct to vote against statehood in 1959, a story I wish I had found in time for Statehood day, a state holiday last Friday.

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