Photo courtesy of the Public Utility Commission of Texas
As one of the fastest growing cities in the country, Austin is constantly changing. The new area code for Austin, 737, is the latest reflection of growth in Central Texas. Effective June 1st, 2013, Austin will now be serviced by two area codes; the original 512 and the new 737 area code. The new area code will be assigned to brand new phone numbers only. Phones with a 512 area code will keep that area code unless the owner requests a new number.
The need for the new Austin area code 737 has been ten years in the making. A decade ago, the North American Numbering Plan Administration had only a few 512 numbers available for use, but the concept of number pooling, which allows planners to use as many combinations of digits as possible, pushed back the need for the 737 area code. However, each area code has about 8 million possible numbers that can be associated with it. 512 happens to be the area code for Travis, Hays, Caldwell, Bastrop, Williamson, Burnet and Lampasas counties, so it’s no wonder the time has come to implement the 737 area code. Adding the new Austin area code will enable service providers to keep up with our city’s tremendous growth. Service providers will begin distributing numbers with the 737 area code beginning July 1st, 2013.
What does the Austin area code change mean for Austin residents? Most importantly, Austin residents will be required to dial the whole 10-digit number of the person they are calling. For example, the number must be dialed 512-123-9876, instead of only 123-9876. ,And as before, there will be no extra fee charged when dialing the 737 or 512 area codes locally. Three digit numbers, like 911, will NOT be affected by the area code change either. This change will affect equipment associated with telephone numbers, including fax machines, voicemail, security systems and call-forwarding. Austin residents should be proactive and update their contact lists, business cards and other products. The requirement for 10-digit dialing begins June 1st.
For more information and a map of the coverage for the 512/737 area codes, check out the Public Utility Commission of Texas website.