Pretty soon, when somebody asks an Ellis County resident where they are from, that person can proudly say, “I’m from the 945.”
And that would be just one of four correct answers.
The Public Utility Commission of Texas last week approved a new telephone area code to accommodate continued growth in and around Dallas. The 945 area code will overlay the three existing area codes — 214, 972 and 469 — and will be implemented within the next nine months, according to the North American Number Planning Administrator, or NANPA, in a November filing with the PUC.
The new area code will become the 28th assigned to the state of Texas, according to the PUC website. Most recently, 726 was assigned to San Antonio to overlay the 210 area code starting in 2017.
NANPA projects that the additional area code will keep the area in supply of new numbers for the next 13 years. In the November filing, NANPA said the supply of available numbers in the Dallas area will be exhausted by the third quarter of 2021 without a fourth area code.
Neustar Inc., the company that is serving the role of NANPA, first filed the petition with the PUC on October 8 of last year.
The new 945 area code will overlay the three existing area codes in virtually all of Ellis County, as well as all of Dallas, Collin and Rockwall counties and parts of Denton, Tarrant, Johnson, Kaufman and Hunt counties.
It will overlay the existing area codes in the same manner that 469 and 972 were overlaid in the original 214 area code in the last couple of decades. Customers would be able to retain their current numbers and the current dialing method of 10 digits locally would not change.
When landlines were the only use for phone numbers, the original allocation of area codes in 1947 sufficed for a number of years.
However, the explosion of technology, plus population growth in general, has introduced the need for new numbers for a progression of technological advances over the last three decades: fax lines, dial-up computer lines, flip phones, smart phones, tablets, e-readers and more.