State regulators on Tuesday gave their official consent to adding the 984 area code in the dozen North Carolina counties that currently use 919. The N.C. Utilities Commission’s approval sets March 31 as the date on which the second area code will go into use.
The commission order also clears they way for phone companies in the state to make preparations to get their customers used to the idea of a second area code along with the necessity of 10-digit dialing for local calls. Callers will have the option to use 10-digit dialing six months before it becomes required on March 31, 2012.
The region needs a second area code to accommodate the proliferation of cellphones and a growing population. The area served by the 919 area code was expected to run out of phone numbers next year unless a second area code was added.