It was early 1999 when Houston added the "832" area code to the existing "713" and "281" codes. Now, the PUC says it will add area code "346" starting next July. It's estimated the Houston area will run out of new numbers using the existing area codes by September of next year. This is the PUC's Terry Hadley.
"It will affect the customers in the existing 713, 281 and 832 area codes. That involves all of Harris County and parts of surrounding counties."
Hadley says because seven digit numbers doesn't exist anymore in Houston, the added "346" area code really won't affect dialing or existing customers.
"With this next change in the Houston area, it already involves 10-digit dialing, so existing customers will have no effect upon them, only in the future if they want a new number they will have to get a "346" area code."
Hadley says customers won't have to reprogram any of their phones when the change happens. About half of Fort Bend county will be affected by the new area code. Big chunks of Montgomery and Brazoria counties will also be included in the "346" area, along with smaller portions of other surrounding counties.