Virginia gets new digits
SCC assigns new 826 area code to 540 region
On Wednesday, the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) announced that the North American Numbering Plan Administrator has assigned a new area code, 826, to relieve future exhaustion of the 540 area code, which is expected to occur in 2022.
Residents and businesses in the affected region will not lose their existing 540 phone numbers under the SCC plan. The 540 area code, created in 1995, encompasses Roanoke, Harrisonburg, the Shenandoah Valley and Winchester, Fredericksburg and parts of Northern Virginia.
The plan approved by the SCC superimposes the new 826 area code over the same 540 geographic footprint, which the commission says it sees as “more durable and/or less disruptive than other alternatives.” For local calls, however, 10-digit dialing will be required.
The SCC order directs telecommunications companies to use a 13-month implementation schedule, which includes a six-month period during which calls made within the 540 area code can be completed using seven- or 10-digit numbers.
“This period is used to ease the transition from seven-digit to 10-digit dialing so customers can be educated on the changes without having calls impacted prior to assignment of the 826 area code,” an SCC statement said.