Starting June 4, 2016, the new 548 area code will be introduced in the region currently served by area codes 226 and 519.
Residents and businesses requesting a new phone number may get a number with the 548 area code.
Seven-digit phone numbers with the new area code will only be assigned to customers when the existing supply of seven-digit numbers with 226 and 519 area codes is depleted. So, it is possible for two people to have the same phone number but different area codes.
The new area code is the result of a Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) decision and is intended to meet the growing demand for new telephone numbers.
“The introduction of a new area code creates millions of additional telephone numbers without affecting existing numbers,” Glen Brown, spokesperson for the Canadian Numbering Administrator, said in a media release. “It is part of today’s reality throughout North America and demonstrates the flexibility and growth potential of Canadian communications networks.”
The introduction of a new area code in a region does not affect the local calling areas or the way long distance calls are dialed. Special numbers like 911 will still be dialed using only three digits.
Currently, the 226 and 519 area codes cover most of southwestern Ontario, which includes the communities of London, Windsor, Kitchener-Waterloo, Guelph, Brantford, Sarnia, Woodstock, Stratford and Owen Sound.
The area code 519 was introduced in 1953. Over the years, increasing demand for telephone numbers - particularly for wireless devices - has created a need for additional numbers to serve customers in the region.
In response to this increasing demand, the 226 area code was added in October 2006, along with the introduction of 10-digit dialing for local calls.
When a new area code is added, the same phone number can exist in both area codes.
Consequently, 10-digit local dialing is necessary in order for local calls to be connected and reach their appropriate destinations.
In 2010, the new 343 area code was introduced in Ottawa and eastern Ontario to ease the growing demand where 613 was the only area code at the time.