Central Oklahoma to see new area code in mid 2020

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) - The Oklahoma Corporation Commission voted unanimously Wednesday morning to add a new area code to the 405 area. But the good news is if you have a 405 number already, you won’t have to change it.

“There will be no more 405 area codes to give out to new businesses or people who move into the Oklahoma City metro area,” said Lauren Willingham, Public Utility division of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission.

As of October 2019, there are only around 300,000 numbers left in the 405 area. Those numbers are expected to run out by December 2021.

“It’s mostly going to be on the shoulders of the Oklahoma telecommunications industry to start informing their customers,” Willingham said.

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission says it’s inevitable.

“The reasons behind a number exhaust are multiple. One of the biggest reasons, the demand for telephone numbers is the greatest it’s ever been,” said Matt Skinner, Oklahoma Corporation Commission PIO.

The plan, called an overlay, will allow Oklahomans who already have a 405 number to keep it.

“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. We’ll just be welcoming a new number in,” Willingham said.

This plan is similar to when the 918-area code was exhausted in northeastern Oklahoma back in 2011. The 539-area code was added, and local calling went to the 10 digit format.

The same will happen here. The biggest change you’ll see is you must use all 10 digits when dialing numbers, even when making local calls.

“That means you’ll have to dial 405, etc., etc., whenever you’re calling within the 405 area code,” Willingham said.

Estimated schedule for implementation:

  • July 2020 – Begin “permissive” 10 digit dialing. (System will accept either 10 digits or 7 digits for local calls). New area code will become available.
  • January 2021- Mandatory 10 digital dialing begins.
  • December 2021 – Projected exhaust of 405 area code telephone numbers.

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