Cracking the code

British Columbia adds new area code, 236, and it will be in effect in West Kootenay.

There is a new area code coming to the West Kootenay.

In response to the increasing demand for new phone numbers in B.C., the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is adding a new area code, and it includes Rossland and the West Kootenay.

Beginning June 1 the new area code, 236, will ensure B.C. residents and businesses continue to have enough phone numbers.

Individuals do not need to change their existing phone number, and in areas where there is still a sufficient supply of 604, 778 and 250 numbers the numbers will continue to be given out as long as available.

Where it is no longer available or where a customer chooses, 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.

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.