We’re getting another area code.
Starting July 1, Houston area residents might see phone numbers that begin with 346, when a new area code comes to town.
The Public Utility Commission of Texas last year announced a new area code was being added and this week cell phone companies are texting their customers as a reminder.
The new area code will create possibilities for about 8 million new numbers.
Long-time locals have no reason to grumble-they will get to keep their original area codes
The new area code will be the fourth for the nation’s fourth largest city.
When 346 is activated, it will overlay 713, 281 and 832 in Harris, Fort Bend, Waller, Austin, Montgomery, San Jacinto, Liberty, Chambers, Galveston and Brazoria counties.
A few numbers are still left in 281, 713 and 832, according to the PUC, but the options for new numbers are dwindling.
Houston’s three existing area codes could run out by October, according to some estimates by the PUC.
The new area code might not be used immediately, but the PUC said 346 will be ready that day, just in case the other three codes run out.
I missed the PUC announcement, so I’m glad I caught this. The story reminds me that we got the 832 code, and the 10-digit-dialing requirement that came with it, way back in 1999. That was two years after the introduction of the 281 code, which at the time was based on geography. Guess they were right when they said the overlay codes would last longer. Anyway, what this all means is that when we finally give Olivia a cellphone, it’ll very likely come with a 346 area code. Good to know. Via Swamplot, and Hair Balls has more.