RICHMOND, Va. (WFXR) – The State Corporation Commission (SCC) announced on Wednesday a new area code that is coming to parts of our region.
The new 826 area code is meant to relieve the future exhaustion of phone numbers in Virginia’s 540 area code.
The current 540 area code region encompasses much of western Virginia including the Roanoke area to the southwest and moving northward to include the Alleghany Highlands, Shenandoah Valley, Harrisonburg, Winchester and Fredericksburg.
The 540 area code was created in 1995 which split from the 703 area code.
It is estimated that the availability of phone numbers with the 540 area code will be exhausted in 2022, which is why the North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA) has assigned the new area code.
The new 826 area code will superimpose the existing 540 area code region which means that 10-digit dialing will now be required for all local calls; however, nobody with a current 540 phone number will lose their 540 area code.
The SCC’s order will direct the telecommunications industry service providers in the area to move forward with a proposed 13-month implementation period which includes a six-month period which calls within the 540 area code can be completed using either seven or ten digits.
This period is used to ease the transition from seven-digit to ten-digit dialing so customers can be educated on the changes without having calls before the assignment of the new 826 area code.
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