Starting in 2016, the new 548 area code will be introduced in the region currently served by area codes 226 and 519 in Southwestern Ontario.
The new area code is the result of a Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) decision and is intended to meet the continuously growing demand for new telephone numbers.
“The introduction of a new area code creates millions of additional telephone numbers without affecting existing numbers,” said Glen Brown, spokesperson for the Canadian Numbering Administrator.
The new area code will be available starting June 4, 2016. After this date, residents and businesses requesting a new phone number may get a number with the 548 area code. Numbers with the new area code will only be assigned to customers when the existing supply of 226 and 519 numbers is depleted.
The introduction of a new area code in a region does not affect the local calling areas or the way long distance calls are dialed. Special numbers like 911 will still be dialed using only three digits.
Currently, the 226 and 519 area codes cover most of Southwestern Ontario, including Stratford.
The area code 519 was introduced in 1953. Over the years, increasing demand for telephone numbers– particularly for wireless devices– has created a need for additional numbers to serve customers in this region. In response to this increasing demand, the 226 area code was added in October 2006 along with the introduction of 10-digit dialing for local calls.