Residents of southwestern Ontario might have to start getting used to seeing a 548 area code if they haven’t done so already.
The more common 519 and 226 area codes are becoming “depleted” and providers are turning to the third option that was introduced in June 2016 as a result of the growing demand for new telephone numbers.
The three codes cover the communities in and around London, Windsor, Kitchener, Waterloo, Guelph, Brantford, Sarnia, Woodstock, Stratford and Owen Sound.
Rogers Communications said that when new numbers come into service, they are likely to have a 548 area code.
“Some 519 or 226 numbers might be available but those number blocks are becoming depleted and we must source our new numbers from area code 548 number blocks,” spokesperson Zac Carreiro said.
Members of a Guelph-based community Facebook group pointed out that they’re just now seeing the 548 area code.
“It takes a while for an area code to roll out,” said Douglas Birdwise, business manager with the Canadian Numbering Administration Consortium, which oversees the distribution of phone numbers to providers.
“It all depends on when the central office codes (the three numbers after the area code) have been assigned,” he said while noting that the rollout can also depend on when providers need additional numbers for their customers.
“Usually because the demand is greater in the larger centres, you might see it introduced in larger cities first.”
A new area code could create as many as eight million new numbers, but there is really no significance behind 548.
Birdwise said they have to follow certain guidelines under the North American Numbering Plan, which encompasses 20 countries.
“We try and steer clear of something that is repetitive from something that is currently in place. We also look at neighbouring areas as well,” he said.
“We always look at something a bit different so we avoid dialing errors.”
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