Nova Scotia

782 area code in Nova Scotia and P.E.I. used by less than 1%

Only about 80 phone numbers with the new 782 area code have been assigned across Nova Scotia and P.E.I. so far.

In Charlottetown, three people have the elusive digits — but officials say that's right on track

If this is your phone, you probably have a 902 number. Most new numbers issued in Nova Scotia and P.E.I. use the 782.

Nova Scotians and Prince Edward Islanders started ten-digit dialling nearly two years ago to accommodate the 782 area code, but so far only about 80 phone numbers use the new code.

If your Halifax number starts with 782, you are one of just 16 such numbers in the city. If you're in Charlottetown, only you and two others have a 782. The rest are spread throughout the region. The other 99.00002 per cent of us still use 902.

Glen Brown, project manager with the Canadian Numbering Administrator, says that's what they expected. His group assigns phone numbers to telecommunications companies, who distribute the numbers to their customers.

Brown says the group's projections were for 20 to 30 new 782 numbers per year since it started in late 2014. That means they're slightly ahead of schedule.   

Your chance to get a 'new' 902

He says they purposely bring in new area codes long before they expect to run out of numbers with the old ones. They have a reserve of 902 numbers for telecommunications companies that don't offer service in the region, but which might want to in the future.  

"They have a two-year window that they can still have access to the 902 resources," he says.

Other 902s re-enter the system when people die or move. Those numbers are kept out of service for a few months before going back into the pool.

Unlike the popular Seinfeld episode when a new area code was forced on Elaine when she changed numbers, Brown says Nova Scotia customers still have some choice. 

Losing 1.8 seconds of your life per dial

"You go to the phone company and you say, OK, right, I'd like a 782 number or I'd like a 902 number, what's available? They normally have a short list you can try and pick from," he said.

Mobile devices are the big culprit when it comes to gobbling up phone numbers. A single device can have as many as five phone numbers associated with it for performing different operations.

Officials have said it takes a person roughly 1.8 seconds to dial the extra three digits.

With files from Information Morning