List of Washington area codes

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The U.S. state of Washington currently has five telephone area codes. The first was area code 206 which at the time covered all the state. In 1957 the state was divided in half when area code 509 was created to cover Eastern Washington leaving 206 to cover Western Washington. In 1995 206 was split again covering just the Puget Sound Area after Area code 360 was created to cover the remaining area. The most current split as of 2009 was in 1997 when 425 and 253 took over most of the Seattle Metro leaving 206 to cover just the city of Seattle and neighboring cities in King and Snohomish counties.

564 has been proposed as a future overlay for the 206, 253, 360 and 425 area codes. As of December 2009 it has not been implemented.

Area codes and major cities[edit]

Area code 206, Seattle[edit]

Area code 206 is the North American telephone area code in the U.S. state of Washington for Seattle, the islands of Mercer, Bainbridge and Vashon, and portions of the Seattle metro area from Des Moines to Woodway.

Area code 206 was one of the original area codes created in 1947. In 1957, area code 509 was created for the area east of the Cascades in a flash-cut. It split to form area 360 (one of the first 2 area codes not of N0X/N1X form) in 1995, and underwent a 3-way split in 1997 to form areas 253 and 425.

Area code 253, Tacoma[edit]

Area code 253 is a telephone dialing code in Washington for the suburbs south of Seattle and of the southern Puget Sound area, centered at Tacoma and extending to include the areas around Gig Harbor, Auburn, and Roy. It currently serves the western half of Pierce County, Washington and Federal Way.

The area code went into service on April 27, 1997 as part of a three-way split of area code 206.

Area code 360, Western Washington[edit]

Area code 360 is the area code for western Washington state outside of the greater Seattle metropolitan area. It began service on January 15, 1995. The area, which encompasses all of western Washington outside of urban King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties and Bainbridge Island, was previously part of area code 206. The 360 area code was one of the first two area codes that did not take the N1X or N0X form (i.e., the middle digit is neither 0 nor 1) in the North American Numbering Plan, along with Alabama area code 334, which began service on the same day.[1]

Area code 425, Everett[edit]

Area code 425 is a telephone dialing code in Washington for the suburbs north and east of Seattle, particularly the Eastside, extending east to North Bend, north to Everett, and south to Maple Valley.

The area code went into service on April 27, 1997 as part of a three-way split of area code 206.

Area code 509, Spokane[edit]

Area code 509 is a state of Washington telephone area code which covers central and eastern Washington, including Spokane, the Tri-Cities, Yakima, Walla Walla, and Wenatchee. It was created in a split from area code 206 in a flash-cut on January 1, 1957.[2]

Currently, the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission forecasts that supply of 509 area code numbers will not be exhausted until 2014.[3]

Area code 564, Proposed[edit]

Area code 564 is a proposed area code for the state of Washington covering all of Western Washington, including Seattle. It would be an overlay plan for the 206, 253, 360, and 425 area codes. As of August 2014, it has not been implemented.

In 1999, the 564 area code was proposed as an overlay of area code 360, which serves areas of Western Washington outside of the Seattle Tacoma metropolitan area. This version of the NPA was slated for implementation on July 29, 2000. Later, the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (WUTC) determined that the actual increase in need for new numbers in 360 had fallen short of projections, and postponed the NPA until at least February 2001.

In May 2000, the commission projected that the metropolitan Seattle area codes (206, 253, and 425) would also soon exhaust their number pools, and expanded the 564 plan to include those areas as well. By the summer, however, this was determined to be not immediately necessary. The NPA was then planned for application on October 20, 2001.

On August 22, 2001, the WUTC announced that, due to increased efficiency in the reuse of the existing number pool, the immediate need for the new NPA had subsided. Part of this was also attributed to a downturn in the telecommunications sector. The commission put off implementation until no earlier than October 20, 2002.

Since the development of the initial plan for the area code, the WUTC and the NANPA have rebuffed the telephone companies' request for a new NPA and instead directed them to actively share and efficiently use the number blocks already assigned. This mainly refers to the practice of number pooling, or dividing telephone exchanges (aka prefixes) into up to 10 1,000-number blocks, instead of a whole prefix's numbering space being assigned wholesale to one carrier.

The earliest current NANP estimate for when any Western Washington area code will run out of number blocks is the second quarter of 2012 [1], as the WUTC has taken further steps to decrease the need for new number blocks in 360 and 509 and head off the need for new NPAs.

When area code 564 goes into effect, it will require 10-digit dialing for all local phone calls in Western Washington. Currently, local calls within an NPA can use 7-digit dialing.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Van, Jon (April 25, 1994). "Area-code explosion rings up new cost". Chicago Tribune. p. B1. 
  2. ^ "Area Codes by Area Code". Area-Codes.org. Archived from the original on March 28, 2009. Retrieved February 18, 2011. 
  3. ^ "UTC delays need for new area code and 10-digit local dialing in Western Washington". Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission. November 18, 2008. Archived from the original on February 3, 2009. Retrieved February 18, 2011. 

External links[edit]