In response to the increasing demand for new phone numbers in British Columbia, The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) added a new area code to all of B.C. On June 1, the new area code, 236, will ensure B.C. residents and businesses continue to have enough phone numbers.
Individuals do not need to change their existing phone number, and in areas where there is still a sufficient supply of 604, 778 and 250 numbers, they will continue to be given out as long as they are available.
Where they are no longer available or where a customer chooses, after June 1, people and businesses receiving a new phone number may get one with the 236 code. Timing and availability of phone numbers with the new area code will vary by community, depending upon the local inventory and demand.
The geographic boundaries that govern long distance calling will not be affected.
The Western Telecommunications Alliance, a group of Canada’s major telecommunications companies, is working to inform all customers and businesses about the additional area code.
To ensure a seamless transition to adding the new area code, 236, businesses are encouraged to begin making any necessary changes right away by reprogramming communications systems and equipment. For example, businesses that restrict long distance calls will need to reprogram their equipment to accept the 236 area code as local.
Residential customers will not need to make any changes to their equipment.
Three-digit numbers such as 211, 311, 411, 611 and 911 emergency services will not be affected.