By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Although the Denver metro area will get its third area code next year, the entire state of Wyoming won’t run out of phone numbers with the 307 area code for more than 20 years.
Last week, the Colorado Public Utilities Commission approved a new area code for the Denver area, 983, which will take effect next year. This is the first new area code the area has received in more than 20 years, and comes in addition to the 303 and 720 area codes already in place.
However, a spokeswoman for the Federal Communications Commission told Cowboy State Daily on Tuesday that it will be quite a while before Wyoming needs a new area code.
“The North American Numbering Plan Administrator, which manages the assignment of phone numbers, projects that Wyoming will not need a second area code until 2045, the point at which the Administrator projects that Wyoming’s current area code (307) will run out of numbers,” FCC spokeswoman Anne Veigle told Cowboy State Daily on Tuesday. “This is just a projection, and it could change in the future, for instance if 307 numbers are being used more quickly or more slowly than expected.”
At least we’re doing better than Alaska, which won’t need a new area code until 2055. The American Samoa territory won’t need one until 2186.
Denver is projected to run out of 303/720 numbers by the fourth quarter of 2022, so the new 983 area code won’t be assigned until the current two area codes have been exhausted.
Mike Ceballos, a former Wyoming president of Qwest telephone service and an expert in technology, told Cowboy State Daily that Wyoming is only one of about a dozen states with a single area code.
“When my family came to Wyoming in 1995, there were under 400,000 telephones, mostly landlines, in the state,” he said. “When I retired in 2011, there were more than 800,000 telephone numbers and the number of landlines has gone down. I believe we will likely remain a single area code state, at least for a while.”