Additional area code being considered for Las Vegas

Las Vegas could be getting a new area code, although it probably won't come up all 7s as some have proposed.

The Public Utilities Commission of Nevada on Wednesday approved a measure that would allow officials to pursue a new area code by the summer of 2014 as demand for numbers in the current 702 exchange fills up.

The commission voted to develop a plan from the telecommunications industry that could be ready for final approval by the end of the year, PUC spokesman Peter Kostes said. It would include public feedback sessions in the fall.

According to a report filed in April by a group that tracks area code use, the numbers available in the 702 area code, established 65 years ago, will run out by the second quarter of 2014 based on current demand. That's almost a year sooner than cited in 2011 by the Numbers Utilization Resource Forecast.

The 702 area code serves Las Vegas and Southern Nevada. About three new numbers a month are issued, with about 90 percent of them in Las Vegas.

New customers would get numbers in the new area code. Existing customers would keep their 702 area code. All valley residents would have to dial 10-digit phone numbers that include area code on local calls.

It would take 16 months to implement the new plan upon final approval by the commission.

It's unlikely new area code would be 777, a pitch Las Vegas tried in 1997. That area code is reserved by the telecommunications industry as an easily remembered number that could be used for public services, such as 555 for directory assistance or 911 for emergencies.

The 702 area code first came into being in 1947 and spanned the state. As the population grew in Las Vegas, Northern Nevada was split off into the 775 area code. That happened in 1998.

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  1. Dialing 10 digits for local calls seems ridiculous. Does this happen in any other cities? I will get rid of my land line phone if that happens and only make calls from the directory in my cell phone.

  2. It's pretty common. Back in the late 90s, during the .com bubble, Minneapolis/St. Paul fractured into several area codes. It was all 612, then they added 651, then 763, 952, and 320. One area code into 5. Ten digit dialing is coming-- and it's really not a big deal.

  3. Look at So. Cal. They have been dialing 10 numbers for years. When you have more then one area code in an area you have to or you won't get the right number.

    Common sense goes a long way. Try it! ;-)

  4. vegasbike

    This will also include cellphones. If the phone number that is in your directory does not include the area code, the call will fail to go through.

    Ten digit local dial is already in place in many areas. As noted, 10 digit local calling is required any place they have used an area code overlay or have multiple area codes in a close geographical area that would allow for local calling (it was like that in the Washington, DC area with 4 different area codes).

  5. This will be a pain in the you know what. When CT went to additional area codes you could not call three blocks down into the next town without dialing an area code, sometimes the same area code as yours. Then, last year they came out and added the requirement to dial 1 for all calls even in state.

  6. Instead of 777 for Las Vegas, How about 666 for Casino Properties. Memorable AND Funny AND Truth In Adverising by Three simple Numbers.

  7. To my fellow bloggers,

    Getting another area code is really no problem as long as there is no additional charge for the same service area. I sure hope they are not trying to slip something past us and add another fee tacked on to the already existing costs. Just an old cop reflecting,

    Gordon Martines.........................curre.o...

  8. How can so many be afraid of a little change? Think about it, if you are dialing numbers on a phone you are living in the past. I rarely even dial telephone numbers any more; I either push the person's contact number on my home or smartphone or look up a business on my smartphone and tap the highlighted telephone number if I wish to make a call.