Triangle residents will get a second area code, along with mandatory 10-digit dialing, in less than 10 months.
The state's phone companies said today they will add the 984 area code on April 30 in the region currently served by 919.
The N.C. Telecommunications Industry Association spelled out an implementation schedule in a filing before the N.C. Utilities Commission. The commission is expected to approve the timetable.
The region needs a second area code to accommodate a booming population and proliferation of cell phones.
The organization that administers the nation's phone numbers in May told the N.C. Utilities Commission that the the area served by the 919 area code will run out of phone numbers within a year.
In October, the state's phone companies begin an intensive, 6-month public education campaign to get their customers used to the idea.
The campaign will include advertising, bill inserts and other notices.
Phone companies will explain, among other things, that 10-digit dialing does not incur long-distance charges.
With 10-digit dialing, a local call will require the 919 or 984 area code, even if it's a call between next-door neighbors.
Long-distance calls will require 11 digits -- the area code and phone number preceded by a 1.
Mandatory 10-digit dialing will begin March 31, with the second area code added a month later.
Customers with 919 area codes will not have to change their phone numbers. Only newly assigned numbers will receive 984 area codes.
The 919 number will also continue to be assigned as customers die or discontinue service and return old phone numbers to the numbering pool.