Area codes 204 and 431
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Area codes 204 and 431 are the North American telephone area codes for the Canadian province of Manitoba, encompassing the province. 204 is one of the original 86 area codes assigned in 1947 in the contiguous United States and the then-nine-province extent of Canada.
The incumbent local exchange carrier for the 204 and 431 area codes is Bell MTS.
In 2009 the Canadian Numbering Administrator forecast that area code 204 would be exhausted within a few years, even though there are only 1.2 million people in the entire province. While an area code provides a maximum of 7.8 million numbers, Canada uses an allocation scheme which allots all 10,000 numbers of an entire central office prefix to competitive local exchange carriers even for the smallest hamlets, rather than implementing methods of number pooling. Once a number is allocated to a rate centre, it is not possible to reassign it elsewhere, even when a rate centre has more than enough numbers to service it. This resulted in thousands of wasted numbers. As in most of Canada, the number allocation problem was exacerbated by the proliferation of cell phones, particularly in and around Winnipeg.
In July 2010, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission approved a province-wide overlay with area code 431, for implementation in November 2012. On July 30, 2012, 10-digit dialing became mandatory throughout the province. Although this had the effect of allocating 15.6 million numbers to a province of just over 1.2 million people, MTS and other carriers in the province preferred this method to a geographical split that would have seen one part of the province retain 204 and another part receive 431 as a new area code. The province's telephone companies wanted to spare Manitobans, particularly in rural areas, the expense and burden of changing telephone numbers.
Calls to the following communities can be direct dialed from Winnipeg as a local call: Dugald, Lockport, Lorette, Oakbank, St. Adolphe, St. Francois Xavier, Sanford, Starbuck, Stonewall, and Stony Mountain.
- "Telecom Decision CRTC 2010-526: Code relief for area code 204 in Manitoba". Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. Retrieved 2014-06-02.
- "10-digit dialing for Manitoba starts Sunday". CBC News. 2012-07-26. Retrieved 2014-06-02.
- Bende, Jim (May 31, 2014). "431 area code slow to catch on". Winnipeg Sun. Retrieved June 2, 2014.
|Manitoba area codes: 204, 431|
|West: 306, 639||204/431||East: 807, 819/873|
|South: 701, 218|
|Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut area codes: 867|
|Saskatchewan area codes: 306, 639|
|Ontario area codes: 226/519/548, 249/705, 289/365/905, 343/613, 416/437/647, 807|
|Quebec area codes: 367/418/581, 438/514, 450/579, 819/873|
|Minnesota area codes: 218, 320, 507, 612, 651, 763, 952|
|North Dakota area codes: 701|