679 the new 313? Detroit could get a new area code by 2025

"The next sweet MC from the 313 may have to be fine with the 679."

That's what the Michigan Public Service Commission said in response to coverage that it's planning a new area code for Detroit. At least it rhymes.

According to the MPSC, Detroit's iconic area code of 313 is running out. Specifically the city is running out of unassigned telephone numbers and is projected to hit its ceiling in 2025.

As a result, the commission plans to hold a public hearing in Detroit in March as it looks to add a new area code covering the city as well as nearby suburbs. 

The public is invited to comment on the plans during a March 9 hearing at 1:30 p.m. The meeting will happen at Wayne County Community College District's downtown campus in the Frank Hayden Community Room.

Learn more here.

Why is 313 running out?

Despite the appearance of infinite combinations of phone numbers, there is actually a limited selection of available numbers that can be handed out to residents. 

Detroit is nearing its limit on available phone numbers that utilize the 313 area code. 

While some numbers are reassigned after their no longer in use by their previous owners, the number of numbers that haven't been used is dwindling.

It's projected to be exhausted in the third quarter of 2025.

A new area code

The solution is adding a new area code that "will cover the same geographic territory of the 313 area code," the MPSC said.

Instead of dividing up the city into new boundaries that will designate the new area code, it will instead just overlay with the 313 code. Current 313 numbers will remain in place while new phone customers in the same territory will be assigned numbers that begin with 679.

What cities will the new area code include?

The 313 area code covers Detroit, its enclaves Hamtramck and Highland Park, and the suburbs of Allen Park, Dearborn and Dearborn Heights, Ecorse, the Grosse Pointes, Inkster, Lincoln Park, Redford Township, River Rouge and Taylor.

Will calling people be different?

A bit. Phone users will be required to include area codes for local calls within and between the two area codes.

In other words, anyone with a 313 or 679 phone number will have to dial at least 10 digits, even for local calls. 

This change will require the reprogramming of some devices such as auto dialing equipment, medical devices and home security systems to accommodate the additional digits if that equipment is currently programmed to only dial 7 digits.