Saskatchewan just got a second area code a little over five years ago, now a third one — 474 — is in the works.
It’s being put in place because the Canadian Numbering Administrator (CNA) found the 306 and 639 codes will exhaust by 2022, even though 639 was added in May 2013.
Project Manager for the CNA, Glen Brown, said the reasons behind the need for a new area code are extensive.
“I’m gonna refer to it as an explosion of technology,” he said.
Younger generations are getting cellphones and people will often have more devices on top of cellphones, like tablets.
The CNA’s numbers are based on central office codes, also known as NXX, which are the first three non-area code digits of a phone number.
Brown added as of Monday, 230 central office codes for the area code 639 are still available.
The 306 code is completely taken up with 775 central office codes assigned throughout Saskatchewan.
The new area code is in the planning and consultation stage right now, with the CNA working on a planning document which they will likely have completed by the end of this year.
A committee is set to be established to look at relief options and meetings will be held about the possible new area code.
The CRTC notice of consultation notes that some people may end up having to change their phone numbers, so the public is encouraged to take part in meetings. A date for a public meeting on the subject has not yet been posted.
“It’s gonna happen at some point in time. I think the key message to people is, how you access emergency services will not change,” Brown said.
People who want to participate can call the Canadian Numbering Administrator at 613-563-7242.