By next spring, British Columbians will start dialling phone numbers with the area code 672.

The CRTC says a new area code is needed because options with the other four — 604, 778, 250 and 236 — are expected to run out by May 2020.

The new 672 code will be used to cover the entire province, just like 236 and 778. Code 604 covers the Lower Mainland and 250 is only outside of Metro Vancouver.

Cellphone

The CRTC says a new area code is needed because options with the other four are projected to run out by May 2021. (Jacy Schindel/CBC)

The new code will start rolling out on May 4, 2019.

The commission said that should give consumers and providers a year to adjust their plans before the projected run-out date for the old ones.

Old codes

The 604 area code was the only area code in the province until 250 was added in 1996.

In 2001, area code 778 and 10-digit dialling were introduced in the Greater Vancouver area. That was extended provincewide in 2008.

Code 236 was the last to be rolled out in B.C., arriving in 2013. At that time, officials said the rise of cellphone and other technology was driving up demand for new numbers.