The 762 area code isn’t new to Augusta but it will be more widely used because telephone combinations for the 706 code were exhausted last week, said John Manning, director of the North American Number Planning Association, the group that administers telephone numbers in the U.S., its territories and Canada.
In 2006, area code 762 was added as an overlay code for the 706 zone because of the growing amount of phone, computer and cell phone lines. The 706 and 762 region includes metro Augusta, Athens, Columbus and north Georgia.
Phone users must dial 10 digits to make a local call, a change that also started in 2006 and was previously used in metro Atlanta where several codes overlap.
“As the area continues to grow and more numbers are needed, we are going to see more and more 762 prefixes,” Manning said.
NANPA assigns numbers to telephone service providers who then assign the numbers to their customers. Some providers in the Augusta area could still have 706 numbers in their inventories, Manning said.
“(Customers) may see no change at all – at least for a short period of time,” he said.
Some phone companies were issued 762 numbers in 2008, Manning said. Any new assignments to telephone providers will have a 762 area code.
No current numbers will change.
An AT&T spokeswoman said the growing shift to wireless devices, especially smartphones, has diminished the significance of area codes because fewer people punch in digits to place a call and many are accustomed to 10-digit numbers.
“Today, Americans are more used to clicking a contact or Googling phone numbers on their smartphones than actually dialing numbers,” said spokeswoman Stephanie Smith.