New Area Code for BC

Already home to three area codes, BC has now added a fourth: 236 The new area code is in response to the increasing demand for new phone numbers in British Columbia. Unlike the current area codes, though, the new area code is not region specific. Currently the 604 and 778 area codes apply to the Lower Mainland, while 250 applies to the rest of the province.

But according to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), the government agency in charge of these things, the new area code will be province wide.

When the 250 area code came into effect, people living outside the Lower Mainland were required to switch area codes. However, when the 778 area code was added, it was merely used for new numbers in the Lower Mainland area where available 604 numbers had run out.

The new area code will be more akin to the 778 role-out. Looking for a 242 number, but have discovered they’ve all been assigned? Not anymore. After June 1, people and businesses receiving a new phone number may get one with the 236 code. “Timing and availability of phone numbers with the new area code will vary by community, depending upon the local inventory and demand,” says a media release from the Western Telecommunications Alliance.

That means that someone in Vancouver could have a 236 number, and someone in Fort Nelson could have a 236 number. However, the geographic boundaries that govern long distance calling will not be affected. Three-digit numbers such as 211, 311, 411, 611 and 911 emergency services will not be affected