The prefixes are the three digits immediately after the area code. Each area code can contain about 8 million phone numbers.
That limit, Manning said, was reached Oct. 11 – more than six decades after 404 was assigned to Atlanta.
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No existing phone numbers will change, NANPA officials said, but any new ones generated will have only the 470 area code, which was chosen at random and solely because of the availability of the particular combination of numbers.
Manning attributes a consistent, significant population surge to the need for more area codes. Metro Atlanta now has four: 470, the outgoing 404 and 678, and 770, which was created in 1995 and is assigned primarily to outer metro Atlanta phone lines.
“It’s not a Texas or a New York, but Georgia does have quite a bit of growth, primarily due to your Atlanta metropolitan area,” he said.
The metro area isn’t the only region where demand for phone numbers exhausted the long-standing area code.
New Athens, north Georgia, Augusta, LaGrange and Columbus phone numbers will start seeing 762 area codes because telephone number combinations with the 706 area code were exhausted last week, Manning said.