Can you hear me now?

The 918 area code is running out of telephone numbers, and the Oklahoma Corporation Commission is urging all within the region to get involved in the process of determining what to do about it.  The Commission will be holding a Town Hall meeting on the matter in Tulsa on Wednesday, March 25 at 11 a.m. in the Tulsa City Council Chambers.  The goal is to meet with officials, business people, and area residents on the matter.
Commission Chief of Telecommunications Bennett Abbott says public participation is critically important.  “Commissioners want to be sure all those in the 918 area code are part of the process and have their voices heard,” explained Abbott. “The feedback received will figure heavily in the recommendations that staff makes to the Commissioners.”

The North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA) has notified the Commission that the 918 area code is expected to run out of phone numbers (referred to as a “number exhaust”) by the fourth quarter of 2011.  Programs put in place by the Commission have enabled all the area code regions in the state to continue to function without changes for years past their original number exhaust dates.
There are two basic options to handle number exhaust:
     Option 1 – Area Code Split – This would involve splitting the present 918 area code into two sections. One would keep the 918 area code, the other would get a new area code. This  “split” would not change local calling boundaries.
     Option 2 – Area Code Overlay – This would involve assigning a new area code to all new numbers within the 918 area code region. While local calling boundaries would remain the same, this would require ten-digit dialing for all local calls.
Full details about the matter, as well as a survey and comment form, will be available at the Town Hall meeting.  They are also available at the Commission’s web site,
The Commission held its first Town Hall meeting in McAlester on Monday of this week.  The Commission also has meetings scheduled for Tahlequah, Bartlesville, Claremore, Vinita, Stroud.  A meeting in Muskogee is in the planning process.