The 405 is exhausted.
By the end of next year, the Oklahoma City Metro is expected to run out of phone numbers due to high demand.
The Oklahoma Corporation Commission unanimously approved the plan for a second area code Wednesday.
“The new area code will be put into place exactly in the same geographic area as the current 405. So we’ll still be able to keep our identity. We’ll have our 405 area code and then we’ll have a new area code that will be in the same geographic area,” said Lauren Willingham of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission.
Demand has exhausted what 405 can handle as the population continues to expand. Families have multiple lines and businesses demand more service.
“We have burglar alarm systems, just in time inventory systems, various data systems that have a huge demand on telephone numbers. So technological changes, population shifts, the differences in the way numbers are given out and handled by customers today,” said Matt Skinner of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission.
After next year, Oklahomans will have to dial the area code along with the number when dialing locally.
“Even for local calls people in the 405 area code will have to dial 10 digits. That means that you’ll have to dial 405 etc. etc. whenever you’re calling within the 405 area code. Right now you don’t have to. But in the future, you will,” Willingham said. “We had the 918 area code in the Tulsa area and they also reached an exhaust level. And they then implemented the 539 area code in the exact same area. And customers seemed to get used to that and respond very quickly.”
The new area code number will be announced within the next couple of weeks.