Starting Friday, the new 472 area code will go into effect, alongside the 910 area code in our region.

Old habits die hard, but starting Friday, you’ll have a new area code – 472 – to start dialing in Fayetteville and most of Southeastern North Carolina, in addition to the current 910.

As we reported last year, the 910 area code was running out of phone numbers, and the North Carolina Utilities Commission granted a new area code overlay for our region. What that means for you, is that you now have to dial the area code before any call into the old 910 and new 472 area codes.

The North Carolina Utilities Commission approved that all new phone numbers created late this year will start with 472 in the area that currently has 910 numbers. Nobody with a current 910 number will have to change their number, but local calls will all need to dial the 10-digit number now.

It seems like it was just yesterday that before making a telephone call, you would pick up the receiver and listen. At the time, many had what was referred to as a party line. My grandmother was one of many in my hometown of Bladenboro that had to deal with the frustrations of the party line. If someone was using the line, respectfully, you waited for them to finish and then made your call. And yes, others could listen in on your call if they chose to.

In the not too distant past, all phones used the rotary-style system to make calls. Before you knew it, the rotary phones disappeared ushering in the touch-tone system which was quickly followed by wireless technology. Back in the day, it was very cool to use the “cordless” phone. I could walk around my house and even outside in the yard all while yapping on the phone. Then, after my call, I had better not forget to put the phone back on the battery charger.

The 910 area code was created in 1993 when it was split off from the 919 area code as a separate region. This split will be different, as 472 and 910 will operate in the same geographic overlay area. Numbers starting in 910 were projected to run out by the middle of 2023, based on current growth.