New 236 area code coming to B.C.
B.C. residents will soon be dialling a new area code, because the current supply is expected to run out two years earlier than originally planned.
The new area code will be 236 and will be used throughout the province, according the CRTC.
Telephone companies will start handing out numbers with the new area code in June 2013. Existing phone numbers will all remain the same.
B.C. was not expected to run out of phone numbers with the existing area codes until 2016, but last year officials noticed numbers would likely run out some time in 2014.
Telus spokesman Shawn Hall says that's because demand for telephone numbers extends far beyond phones these days.
"It really comes down to the explosive use of wireless devices. More and more people are picking up internet keys, smart phones, tablet computers and all of those have a phone number attached to them
Until 1996, 604 was the only area code in British Columbia. At that time, 250 was introduced to serve the area outside the Greater Vancouver area.
In 2001, area code 778 and 10-digit dialing were introduced in the Greater Vancouver area, before being extended across the province in 2008.
Officials have already set aside another area code 672 for future expansion in B.C.