306 users won't have to switch codes

Saskatchewan will not be split in two when its new area code comes in — and existing 306 customers won't have to switch, the CRTC has confirmed.

Saskatchewan will not be split in two when its new area code comes in — and existing 306 customers won't have to switch, the CRTC has confirmed.

The province is running out of 306 phone numbers and is scheduled to add a new code — 639 — in May, 2013.

One option would be to split the province into north and south, and require half the existing 306 users to switch to 639.

Instead, the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunication Commissions announced Friday that everybody who already has a 306 number can keep it.

Anyone getting a new phone line as of May 25, 2013, could get the new code.

That's the approach SaskTel wanted.

The downside of not having a north-south split is that everyone will have to switch to 10-digit dialing for local calls. Ten-digit dialing will be phased in over a few months but will become mandatory on May 11, 2013.

The only exceptions to 10-digit dialing are two small northern communities: Kinoosao, which is next to the border with Manitoba, and Uranium City, in the extreme northwest corner of the province. People there won't have to use area codes to make local calls.