The Public Utility Commission of Texas has announced that a fourth area code will be added to the Houston region.
Area code 346 will be added "to accommodate continued growth in and around Houston," according to a statement released by the PUC.
The 346 code will correspond to Harris, Fort Bend, Waller, Austin, Montgomery, San Jacinto, Liberty, Chambers, Galveston and Brazoria counties, in addition to the existing 713, 281 and 832 codes.
The North American Number Planning Administrator assigned the 346 area code after projecting that numbers will not be available for the 713, 281 and 832 codes by Sept. 30, 2014.
Consumers will not need to be concerned about any reprogramming changes to existing equipment because an area code overlay requiring ten-digit dialing for local calls already exists in the Houston region.
The PUC decision allows for industry preparation and customer education from Aug. 1, 2013 until June 30, 2014.
New phone numbers with the 346 area code will be assigned as of July 1, 2014.