PUC of Texas petitioning for 5th Houston-based area code as numbers to run out for existing codes

ByMatt Guillermo KTRK logo
Thursday, July 6, 2023
Houston's 4th area code now in place
The largest city in Texas now has a fourth area code

AUSTIN, Texas (KTRK) -- Since hitmaking rapper Ludacris released his popular "Area Codes" song 22 years ago on July 3, 2001, 154 three-digit numbers were added in North America, including one established in 2014 overlaying the Houston area.

The video above is from 2014 when the 346 area code began.

So, what's one more area code to remember, right?

The Public Utility Commission of Texas, which regulates the state's telecommunication network, is opening public comment on a petition by the North American Number Planning Administrator, or NANPA, about establishing the Houston area's fifth area code.

The reason for it? According to the PUC, NANPA projects our four existing area codes - 281, 346, 713, and 832 - will run out of numbers by the third quarter of 2025.

"The new area code would overlay existing area codes, which currently serve the greater metropolitan area of the City of Houston and smaller cities including Alvin, Baytown, Cleveland, Cypress, Dickinson, Friendswood, Humble, Katy, Kemah, League City, Richmond, Rosenberg, Rosharon, Spring, Sugar Land, and Tomball, within the counties of Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery, San Jacinto, and Waller," the PUC wrote in a news release on Thursday.

The PUC expects no impact on existing phone customers and procedures since a 10-digital phone number requirement is still in place locally.

What is being asked of you? If you want to comment on the as-yet-identified area code, you can weigh in electronically to the PUC's website through Aug. 5. Instructions are here.