Growth of Oklahoma City Means Introduction of a New Area Code "572"
Vol.6 Issue 1
Oklahoma Area Codes – with the addition of two "Overlays."

On January 8, 2020 the Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC) announced that there will be a new area code for 19 central Oklahoma counties, to include Oklahoma County and Oklahoma City. The new area code will not affect existing numbers and will still operate in the same exact areas. Lauren Willingham, an Attorney for the Public Utility Division of OCC explains, "Within about six months to a year, you can start dialing 10 digits if you would like to, and calls will continue to go through. By January 2021, callers will be required to do so." Phone providers will soon be contacting their customers about this new plan in the next few months. People may soon have to start dialing 405 before a number. This area code "overlay" is similar to one that was adopted in 2011 when a 539 area code was added to the 918 area code in the Tulsa region.

The North American Numbering Planning Administration (a group responsible for much of the continent’s area codes through the Federal Communication Commission) says that it takes about 800,000 phone numbers to exhaust an area code, and Oklahoma City has almost reached its capacity.

Anytime a new device is entered into the system - like a security system, Wi-Fi, an electronic notebook or a modem, the device requires phone numbers to function. Phone customers that use the "405" area code won’t have to get a new number, but the Metro area will get an ’overlay’ code instead (primarily because splitting area codes is highly complicated and largely unpopular). Devices have to be able to handle ten-digits, like alarm companies.

This change will mark Oklahoma’s fifth area code. The first area code issued to Oklahoma was 405, back in 1947. Then in 1953, Tulsa had its own 918 area code. Over 40 years later, as populations grew, the state split off to have another area code in 1997; it was 580. In 2011, the 918 Oklahoma area code got its first overlay code of 539. With the addition of the state’s second overlay, you may have to warm up your fingers to dial more digits; namely 572.

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