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Area Code 346

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Not quite development but rather a byproduct of it....

New phone area code for Houston set to activate July 1, http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/New-phone-area-code-for-Houston-set-to-activate-5539874.php

Starting July 1, Houston area residents might see phone numbers that begin with 346, when a new area code comes to town.

The Public Utility Commission of Texas last year announced a new area code was being added and this week cell phone companies are texting their customers as a reminder.

The new area code will create possibilities for about 8 million new numbers.

Long-time locals have no reason to grumble-they will get to keep their original area codes

The new area code will be the fourth for the nation's fourth largest city.

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It always strikes me as odd that people still think in terms of area codes, or that phone numbers need a geographic component.  I guess it is leftover from the landline days.  To me it makes more sense that once one gets a phone number that number stays with you forever, regardless of where you happen to be physically.  

 

 

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I assume it's just for offices/commerce where land lines are in use and long distance (US) is still "a thing." 

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Apparently 713/281 are almost out of new numbers...

 

What I don't understand is that 979, 936 & 409 are also "Greater Houston Area Codes"

Conroe: 936

Galveston: 409

Brazoria/Lake Jackson: 979

 

So Houston *really* has 6 area codes for calls across the total metro area, soon to be 7.

Edited by arche_757

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It always strikes me as odd that people still think in terms of area codes, or that phone numbers need a geographic component.  I guess it is leftover from the landline days.  To me it makes more sense that once one gets a phone number that number stays with you forever, regardless of where you happen to be physically.  

 

it's even more complicated than just geography.  A lot of it has to do with legacy billing systems, state-by-state regulations, and even legacy hardware in remote areas.

 

- When I moved from Cincinnati (513) to Houston (713), I had Cincinnati Bell as my cell phone provider.  Cintybell was a VERY modern phone company, even back in the 90's when this happened, and didn't care that I lived in Houston because it has a roaming agreement with AT&T, so I was just considered a customer who did a lot of roaming.  So I kept my 513 number for years before ending up with an 832 when I switched to VoiceStream/PrimeCo/T-Mobile.   (Note that Cincinnati Bell was never part of the original AT&T and wasn't affected by the breakup of the Bell System in the 80's.  It continues to be one of America's few regional independent phone companies.) 

 

- When I moved from Chicago (312) to Seattle (206), I wasn't allowed to keep my Chicago cell phone number, even though I didn't change phone companies.  That's because AT&T in Chicago is legacy Ameritech, and AT&T in Seattle is legacy Pacific Bell, and the two have COMPLETELY different billing systems that can't handle out-of-region area codes.

 

- When I moved from Chicago (312) to Las Vegas (702), I was able to keep my Chicago cell phone number because Las Vegas was never part of Pacific Bell (Nevada Bell was the rest of the state outside of Las Vegas) and so when AT&T came to town only very recently, its customers end up with the mainline SBC billing system that apparently can handle lots of different area codes.  (Las Vegas phone service wasn't Bell System, either.  It was Nevada Power and Telephone, which became Centel, which became Sprint, which became Embarq, which became CenturyLink).

 

- Only just last week did Nevada have to start dialing an area code for local phone numbers (June 1, 2014).  One of just a handful of states left to do so.

 

- When I lived in rural New Jersey, the phone company spanned the New York State border, and you could call phone numbers in either 201 or 914 without the area code (1980's).  Even shorter, you could dial phones within your own prefix by just using 5 numbers.  For example, my phone number was 201/764-9845.  Someone living in 201/764 could reach me by just dialing "4-9845."

 

- Cincinnati Bell serves southwest Ohio, southeast Indiana, and northern Kentucky.  So when I lived in Cincinnati, you could call Cincinnati Bell numbers in 513 (OH) or 606 (KY) without dialing the area code. 

 

- There are still lots of places in the western United States, even in California, that you can only reach by HF telephone.  So, you dial someone's phone number and instead of connecting to their house, you reach a radio operator who tries to reach their house/ranch/farm/compound by long-range HF radio.  If they answer the radio, the call is patched through over the radio link.  If not, you have to call back.  They don't take messages, which is annoying if you're trying to book a quiet week away from civilization at a dude ranch in the Sierras.  This is becoming less common, though, as satellite phone rates have come down a lot in the last few years.  But even sat phones don't work in dense woods, ravines, or near military installations.

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As a point of interest, for years I had a 500 area code number.  It was great because I would move from state to state every 6 to 12 months, and my number could remain the same. (This was before personal cell phones.) I was 500-674-9845.  AT&T discontinued 500 service in the late 90's.

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Call me old school, but for the rotary land line phone at my house I made a dial label starting out with UNderwood.

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Apparently 713/281 are almost out of new numbers...

 

What I don't understand is that 979, 936 & 409 are also "Greater Houston Area Codes"

Conroe: 936

Galveston: 409

Brazoria/Lake Jackson: 979

 

So Houston *really* has 6 area codes for calls across the total metro area, soon to be 7.

 

Silly arche, expecting the Chronicle to have a clue...  ;-)

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I don't think most people realize that parts of the metro area use 409/936/979?  Probably why the Chronicle's "writers" didn't understand that either.

 

I'm not sure, but I think 409 may be long distance?  I'm not sure of the others?  It doesn't really matter these days.

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Parts of 936 are long distance and parts are not.  NBD on a cell phone, or as a matter of the phone bill, but trying to remember whether or not one needs to hit "1" first on a land line...  :rolleyes:

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The whole idea of "long distance" seems so outdated.  It's silly to have to remember things like dialing "1" on a landline for certain number combinations (I realize most people probably don't still have landlines at home, but businesses do).  One would think the US could manage to implement a single consistent phone number system - ten digits, full stop - but that kind of thing seems out of our reach.  

 

 

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Think of dialing "1" as just the next step in integrating area code because it's the country code for the United States.  Helps to prep you for the day that international codes are as outdated as area codes.

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Apparently 713/281 are almost out of new numbers...

 

What I don't understand is that 979, 936 & 409 are also "Greater Houston Area Codes"

Conroe: 936

Galveston: 409

Brazoria/Lake Jackson: 979

 

So Houston *really* has 6 area codes for calls across the total metro area, soon to be 7.

 

DFW has 7 also

 

214/972/469:  Dallas, Irving, Plano, Mesquite, Cedar Hill, Lewisville, and other suburbs

817/682:  Fort Worth, Burleson, Arlington, and other suburbs

940:  Denton to the OK border 

903:  Outerlying communities east and north of Dallas, up to the OK border

 

It always throws people off when I give my home phone number and its a 940 area code in Houston lol.  It is a Vonage number that I first got while still in college up there and got a really good plan so I have kept it.  My cell is 713.

Edited by technoevil

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