Area Codes FAQs

On this page, you can find out what area codes are and why they are used.

How Many Area Codes Are There?

There are currently over 300 Area Codes in use across the US. Area codes are typically assigned to regions based on population size and geography, ensuring that each geographic area has its unique area code. Area codes are also used to help provide better services, as they allow phone companies and other service providers to easily identify a specific geographic area.

What Is an Area Code Overlay?

An area code overlay is an area code that is added to a geographic region that already has one or more existing area codes. This process is used to ensure that all telephones in a region have access to the same number of digits, allowing for more efficient and reliable calling.

Area code overlays are also used to increase the number of phone numbers available in a particular area if the existing area code is nearing its capacity, and often require people to use a different area code when dialing their local calls, even if they are located in the same geographic region. Area code overlays can also create a situation where both area codes are used when dialing any number within the same geographic region.

What Is an Area Code Split?

An area code split is a process by which telephone numbers in an area are divided into different area codes. This occurs when the existing area code is running out of phone numbers. Splits provide additional capacity for telephone numbers in a region and enable the assignment of more unique telephone numbers to new customers.

What is a Phone Number Search?

A Phone Number Search, also known as a reverse phone lookup, is a process of finding information about an individual or business by using their phone number. This is the opposite of the traditional way of searching for someone’s contact information by using their name or other details.

In a Phone Number Search, you input a phone number into an online search tool or a specialized website, and the tool then retrieves and displays any available information associated with that phone number. This information can include the owner’s name, address, location, and sometimes additional details like social media profiles or business information.

Who Is in Charge of Area Codes?

Area codes are the responsibility of the North American Numbering Plan Administration (NANPA), which is part of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Area codes are used to identify a geographical region or particular telephone services.

Why Do We Need New Area Codes?

Area codes are used to identify a particular telephone service area. As the population and demand for telephone services increase, new area codes become necessary. Area codes act as a way to connect people and businesses, as well as distinguish different parts of the country. Area codes also help to prevent the overlap of services in different areas. Each area code is a three-digit number, and when combined with the seven-digit telephone number, creates a ten-digit number that identifies the location of the telephone service.

How Are New Area Codes Put in Place?

The process of introducing a new code is the responsibility of the North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA), which is part of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). When an area needs more numbers, the NANPA works with state and local governments to plan how to put the new area code in place. The process usually involves splitting the existing area into two or more separate areas, each with its distinct area code.

Before the new area code is placed into service, NANPA will consult with state and local governments to make sure that any changes to local calling patterns are as minimal as possible. They will also contact phone service providers and make sure that any new equipment, such as switching systems and databases, is ready to handle the new area code.

Once the new area code has been approved, it will be distributed through a public announcement. The NANPA will then assign the new area code to local telephone companies, who will in turn distribute it to their customers. As part of the process, customers may have to begin using the new area code for all local calls.

How Many Numbers Are Available in Each Area Code?

Depending on the area code, the number of available numbers can vary greatly. For example, in some smaller or rural areas, there may only be 10,000 available phone numbers in a given area code. Meanwhile, in large metropolitan areas such as New York City or Los Angeles, there may be millions of available numbers. This is because phone numbers are assigned by geographic location and population density.

To get an idea of how many available numbers there are in a particular area code, it is best to contact your local telephone provider and inquire about their inventory. They will be able to give you an accurate count of how many numbers are available in that area code. Additionally, there may be other restrictions on the available numbers, such as the number of digits and certain combinations that cannot be used. identifies the location of the telephone service.

What Is the Difference Between an “Overlay” and a “Geographic Split”?

An overlay is when an area code is added to a region that already has its area code, while a geographic split involves changing the boundaries of an existing area code to create two or more new ones. Understanding the difference between an overlay and a geographic split is key for telecommunication providers and customers alike.

For example, an overlay could be used in a region that was using the area code 714, and a new area code 949 was added. This means that all the people who were using the 714 area code still maintain their same number, while people in the newly added 949 area code have to use a new 10-digit number.

On the other hand, a geographic split would involve changing the existing 714 area code to create two or more new ones. This means that both old and new customers would have to change their 10-digit numbers.

Overall, an overlay is a more efficient way of adding a new area code to a region without requiring existing customers to change their numbers. Meanwhile, a geographic split is necessary when an existing area code needs to be divided into multiple new ones.

Both methods are important for ensuring the proper allocation of area codes and helping to reduce the strain on phone lines in heavily populated areas. Without them, it would be difficult to keep up with the growing demand for new phone numbers.

What Are “Exchange Names”?

Exchange names, also known as area codes, are three-digit numbers that are used to identify a specific telephone service area. Area codes are used in North America to help differentiate one area from another and are primarily used when making long-distance calls but also can be used as part of an email address or domain name. Knowing the exchange name can also help ensure calls are placed correctly and routed properly.

When an Area Code Has Been Exhausted?

When an area code has been exhausted, meaning that all the available combinations of phone numbers have been used up, new exchange names are created. An exchange name is a geographical area that consists of multiple area codes. Exchange names give customers more options and make sure that area codes are not completely exhausted.

This is also beneficial for businesses that are expanding, as they can get area codes from any part of the country to represent their business. Exchange names make it easier for businesses to get area codes that were previously unavailable in certain areas.

Are 9-1-1 Calls Affected?

When a person dials 9-1-1, their location and associated area code are identified by the emergency dispatcher. Area codes determine the geographic location of a caller and are used to route the call to the proper emergency response center. Area codes do not affect 9-1-1 service, however; all 9-1-1 calls are routed to the same response center regardless of the area code associated with the caller. The emergency response center is then able to determine the caller’s exact location based on their address and other information provided.

In the United States, all 9-1-1 calls are routed through the National Emergency Number Association (NENA). NENA is responsible for ensuring that all 9-1-1 calls are properly routed to the correct emergency response center. In addition, NENA has established a set of standards that must be followed by all emergency response centers to ensure that 9-1-1 calls are routed and answered quickly and efficiently.