Beginning March 1, new phone numbers issued in what is currently the 440 area code will be given a new set of digits fresh to the Northeast Ohio region: 436.
That's because the 440 area code, introduced in 1997, will become exhausted by the second half of 2024, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio announced last year.
The new 436 overlay will join 234, introduced for the Akron, Canton and Youngstown areas in 2000, as the most recent additions to Ohio numbers.
It will also endlessly confuse everyone for awhile. Though, as WEWS points out, there seems to be a method to the madness.
216, if you're wondering, won't run out of capacity until 2036, according to PUCO —
both 330 and 440 were created to account for increased demand in the Cleveland area — which is good news since it's the best three digits of the bunch.
What's it mean for an area code to become exhausted? PUCO explains:
An area code reaches exhaust when nearly all of the telephone prefixes (or NXX codes) within that area code are assigned. NXX codes are the first three digits of a phone number that follow the area code. There are 792 possible NXX prefixes in each area code, each consisting of 10,000 numbers. The federal body that administers telephone number initially assigns telephone companies whole NXX codes in blocks of 10,000 numbers.Subscribe to Cleveland Scene newsletters.
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