Southern Nevada area code expansion underway - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Southern Nevada area code expansion underway

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Ten-digit phone service rolls out in Clark County on Saturday, but it doesn't mean you have to dial all 10 digits to place a phone call, at least for now.

"Starting Aug. 3 until May 3 next year, 10-digit dialing is optional," said Juergen Barbusco, manager of communications for Cox.

"It wasn't that long ago that we had only one area code for all of Nevada," added Barbusco.

Area codes were first introduced in 1947. Until 1998, the entire state used 702. But then, because of population growth, 775 was introduced for the entire state except Clark County. It retained 702.

Starting Saturday, 10-digit dialing becomes an option. The actual changeover to 10-digit starts next May. Then, if you don't dial 10 digits, your call will not go through. In June 2014, area code 725 will be rolled out in Clark County to augment the 702 area code.

Barbusco doesn't expect the rollout of 10-digit dialing to be a problem.

"Many people, without knowing we are going through an area code addition, automatically dial 10 digits," he said.

According to the Public Utilities Commission, the 725 area code is needed in Clark County because of population growth and the proliferation of cell phones. A press release from the Commission states without adding the new area code, 702 is projected to run out of phone numbers by the middle of next year.

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