UPDATE 1-12-21: The new area code goes into effect on January 15, 2021. It'll encompass the metropolitan area of Dallas and surrounding communities including Allen, Blue Ridge, Crandall, Frisco, Grand Prairie, Rockwall, Royse City, Venus, and Waxahachie. County-wise, the area code will reach from Dallas County into Collin, Denton, Fannin, Hunt, Johnson, Kaufman, and Tarrant counties.
Customers in the 214, 469, and 972 area code overlay region may be assigned a number with the new 945 area code when they request new service, additional line, or move their service.
Dallas will get a new area code in 2021, one that is possibly cooler than the other three already in existence.
The new code is 945, and will join the already-existing trio of 214, 972, and 469.
The new code has a kind of cool, post-modern vibe. Try it out: "My number is 945-555-1212." Very end-of-the-world, very Mad Max.
A release from the Public Utility Commission of Texas says that the agency approved the additional area code to accommodate the area's growing population.
In a statement, Governor Greg Abbott celebrates the new area code as a sign of prosperity.
"The growth of the population in Dallas and surrounding cities is a reflection of the continued economic vitality in the region and across the state," Abbott says. "When the availability of jobs intersects with the quality of life in Texas, this kind of growth is to be expected. I applaud the PUC for taking this prudent step."
The Public Utility Commission estimates that the remaining well of available phone numbers that start with 214, 469, and 972 will run out in the first three months of 2021.
From then on, new numbers assigned will begin with 945 — representing an easy way to tip off longtime locals and telephony aficionados that you're new in town.
The PUC expects the new code to tide us over for another 13 years.
They also expect that the addition of a fourth area code for the region should be a simple process. Customers with 214, 469, and 972 numbers will keep them. Calm down.
Whoever does their social media is on top of their game. For example, they're offering tips on Twitter on how to remember the new code.
"Experts say it's easier to remember things when they're associated with something more familiar," they tweet. "So, when you're trying to remember the area code that will be added in the Dallas area next year, try this handy association: 945 was also the year Eric the Victorious of Sweden was born."
They also share a short history of Dallas area codes including the fact that 214 was one of the original area codes implemented in 1947 as part of the North American Numbering Plan.
It was a long reign for 214, which prevailed as the only area code for Dallas until 1996, when 214 was split into 214 and 972.
Dallas proper got 214, and 972 was assigned to the 'burbs. Does anyone remember the horror of being relegated to a 972 area code? The scramble to get a 214? So people didn't know you lived in the 'burbs?
In 1999, the geographical line dividing 214 and 972 was eliminated, and 469 was introduced as an overlay area, with no geographic association.
And 469 lucked out because it came along during the ascent of cell phones and as a result, acquired a high-tech hipster vibe. Poor 972 has never really lived it down.