303 & 720 are almost full: New area code 983 starts next year

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DENVER (KDVR) — The Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies announced Thursday that telephone customers in the Denver area will be getting a new area code in 2022.

CDRA said that the 303 and 720 area codes are expected to run out of available phone numbers by the end of 2022. The new area code will not be assigned for use until the current area codes have been exhausted.

The new 983 area code is projected to last approximately 25 years.

FOX31 spoke with Colorado’s Demographer, Elizabeth Garner, about the announcement who said the new area code isn’t necessarily a direct correlation to the number of people living in the Denver area. Over the last 20 years, the Denver Metro area has increased by about 845,000 people. However, Garner believes there could just be a proliferation of phones, not necessarily people.

“People are using phone numbers more often than we used to see, and certainly that has to be part of it,” said Elizabeth Garner. ” I am guessing that there has been a significant increase in the numbers of phones and numbers vs. the number of people since it is so easy and sometimes necessary to have multiple numbers for a person and certainly within a family.”

According to Garner, annual growth has ranged between 23,000 to 63,000 people. It’s a combination of births minus deaths and net migration. While it may not seem like it, the Denver Metro area has actually seen a slowdown in people moving to the city. 

“Over the next 20 years the Denver Metro area is forecast to increase by around 700,000, demonstrating a slowdown in growth.” said Garner. “The population growth rate is expected to slow across the state.”

CDRA said these are the facts about the 983 area code:

  • All current customers will keep their existing phone numbers and area codes.
  • The price of a call, coverage area, or other rates and services will not change.
  • What is a local call now will remain a local call.
  • Customers in the overlay region will continue to dial 10 digits for local calls within and between the overlay area codes, and 1+10 digits for long distance calls and operator assisted calls.
  • Customers can still dial just three digits to reach 911, as well as 211, 311, 411, 511, 611, 711 or 811 if those are currently available in their community.
  • The implementation plan for the new area code will occur over a nine-month period including telecommunications network preparation and direct customer education campaigns by service providers.

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