HOUSTON (KIAH) — We call it “the 713”, but with Houston growing the way it is, it’s no wonder that H-town has four and will soon add another area code. The Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) has just approved a new 621 area code to meet growing numbers in the greater Houston region. With existing 281/346/713/832 area codes projected to run out of new phone numbers by 2025, telecom carriers will begin assigning numbers with 621 once current codes are exhausted.
Houston—and all of Texas—continues to grow because our state offers freedom and opportunity that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. This new phone area code is a testament to the economic strength and quality of life in the greater Houston area. I thank the Public Utility Commission for taking this critical step to improve telephone infrastructure to meet the demands of our growing state.Governor Greg Abbott praising PUCT
The additional area code will serve Houston’s growing population boom for approximately nine more years. PUCT Commissioners voted to implement the overlay after determining it was the least disruptive option. Since Houston already uses multiple area codes, and has since the 90’s, residents are mostly accustomed to ten-digit dialing for local calls. The 621 area code is expected to allow seamless growth without changing existing phone numbers.
Houston was first assigned the 713 area code in 1947. Almost 50 years later, Houston’s suburban population growth required more options in 1996. That’s when 281 was added to the mix across the entire region. After adding 832 and 346 in later years Houstonians became pretty used to using 10 digits as the city expanded. Though remembering which of the four and soon five area codes to use, adding a fourth will meet anticipated growth demand and like the others added, keep from having to revise current numbers.
How will the new 621 area code be added?
PUCT directed the North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA) to oversee rolling out 621 over nine months. Carriers will exhaust remaining 281/346/713/832 numbers before assigning 621. The new area code took submissions that wrapped up August 5 of this year. The public had a chance to voice any public comments on a petition by NANPA.
For more on PUCT’s mission of regulating utilities and providing customer assistance, visit https://www.puc.texas.gov.