Maryland telephone users may have to grapple with the area code 227 as early as next year because available numbers with familiar area codes such as 301 and 240 are running out, officials said Wednesday.
In a June letter to the commission, NANPA — a third-party entity that decides which phone numbers go where — said “the need for relief … is imminent.” The supply of available 301 and 240 telephone numbers is estimated to be exhausted in the second quarter of 2023, according to the commission’s statement.
No changes in dialing are required, the commission said, and existing phone numbers will not change.
“While residents in the 240/301/227 area will continue to dial calls the same way they have for more than 20 years, the [commission] urges consumers and businesses to be aware of the upcoming addition of a new area code,” the statement said.
The 240/301 calling area serves residents and businesses in Allegany, Charles, Garrett, Montgomery, Prince George’s, St. Mary’s and Washington counties, the commission said. Frederick, Howard, Carroll and Anne Arundel will also be affected by the change.
The 301 area code was created in 1947, according to NANPA, and it served all of Maryland for 44 years before the state was split to create Baltimore’s 410 in 1991. These area codes’ siblings, 240 and 443, followed in 1997.
Meanwhile, D.C.’s new area code, 771, is already here.
The commission urged all residents to check their devices, including alarms and medical alert systems, to ensure that all numbers are saved with the correct area codes.