The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission revealed Thursday that British Columbia will be receiving a new area code to accommodate a growing use in electronic devices that require a phone number.
The area code, 236, will come into effect June 1, 2013. The CRTC manages numbers through the Canadian Numbering Administration, which has also set aside the area code 672 to accommodate future needs in B.C.
Shawn Hall, Telus spokesman, said the additional numbers are needed because of exponential growth in use of devices that require phone numbers.
“There has been an explosive use of wireless devices,” said Hall. “And the available supply of phone numbers is running out.”
Without the additional area codes, parts of B.C. would start running out of the 250, 778 and 604 area codes currently in use.
“It used to be families had maybe one phone number for a land line and another possibly for an office,” said Hall. “Now it’s not uncommon for one family to have eight or 10 numbers associated with it.”
Cellphones, tablets and Internet devices are all gobbling up telephone numbers in a hurry.
“This is not uncommon,” said Hall. “It’s happening across Canada and in other jurisdictions.”
Existing phone numbers won’t be affected once the new area code is introduced. In some cases where 250, 778 and 604 numbers are still available, customers may be given a choice between the current area code and the new option.