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Nova Scotia and P.E.I. are the only two provinces that share an area code. (Canadian Press)

The process has begun to figure out how to handle an expected phone number shortage in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.

The two provinces share the 902 area code. By April 2015, however, there won't be any more numbers available, according to the CRTC.

The federal regulator announced yesterday that it has set up a committee to look at various options.

For example, Nova Scotia or P.E.I. could get its own area code. Or a new area code could be assigned to anyone setting up a new phone line in either province, which would mean 10-digit dialling.

Most provinces in Canada have two or more area codes. In some provinces, the new code is assigned to a particular region.

That's not the case in Manitoba or Saskatchewan, where the idea of regional area codes was rejected because too many customers would have had to change their phone numbers.

People in the same area  — even the same street — could have different area codes.

Manitoba is getting its new area code this year, while Saskatchewan will gets its code next year. Everyone will have to dial 10 digits instead of seven for local calls.

In Atlantic Canada, New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador each have their own area code.

Anyone who wants to have their say can contact the Canadian Numbering Administrator at 613-563-7242 or through its website www.cnac.ca.