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Southeastern North Carolina to get new area code by 2023

June 29, 2021 GMT

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Southeastern North Carolina is getting a new area code in response to the growth in the number of new residents, businesses and cell phones.

The North Carolina Utilities Commission has approved a new overlay area code for the existing 910 area code, news outlets report. The new area code of 472 will cover areas including Onslow and Duplin counties.

Before the change happens, all calls within the existing 910 area code will transition to 10-digit dialing. Calls within the 910 area code will require that the caller dial the full number, including area code.

The growth in numbers means that the numbers available in the 910 area are predicted to run out by the middle of 2023. In anticipation of that, new numbers created in late 2022 and early 2023 will carry the new area code.

Existing numbers will not change. In the long run, area codes 910 and 472 will operate in what’s called an “overlay,” meaning both will be available in the same geographic area.