The expected life of 207 as Maine’s only area code has been extended by a year.

The Maine Public Utilities Commission said Tuesday that the administrator of the nation’s area codes now expects that numbers for the 207 area code will last until the end of 2025. It had previously been expected to be exhausted at the end of 2024, but state officials have been trying to extend its lifespan as the state’s only area code.

“This provides us with some breathing room, giving us an opportunity to extend this time line even further through additional efforts,” PUC Chairman Philip L. Bartlett II said in a statement. “We will continue to do what we can to preserve Maine’s single area code for as long as possible.”

Two years ago, when the PUC was warned that its supply of 207 numbers was running low, an organization representing wireless carriers suggested that Maine join a growing number of states with two or more area codes. The proliferation of cellphone users with out-of-state area codes, along with call lists on phones that mean users no longer need to memorize many numbers, made the need for a uniform area code less important, they argued.

But the PUC opted to take steps to delay the day when Maine would be split into two area codes.

Those efforts will continue despite the new forecast of an additional year before the 207 numbers run out, said Susan Faloon, spokeswoman for the PUC.


The PUC has ordered phone companies to return unused blocks of 207 numbers to the commission so they can be reallocated. Carriers request large blocks of numbers when they move into a new area, but not all of them are used, Faloon said.

Returning them to the PUC, she said, allows those numbers to be reallocated, extending the reach of the 207 numbers.

She said the PUC is also working with carriers to further diminish the ranks of unused numbers and to have those carriers fine-tune their forecasts of how many numbers they need.

The new estimate of when numbers will be exhausted will allow the North American Numbering Plan Administrator, or NANPA, which oversees area codes, to delay some steps it normally takes to prepare for adding a new area code.

The organization already had started planning for a new area code, including weighing whether to slice off a part of the geographic area currently assigned to 207 or to overlay the new area code on top of it.

Because of the new estimate of when 207 numbers will be exhausted, that process will be put on hold until this fall, Faloon said. NANPA will probably look again at the estimate at that time, she said, and could adjust the date for adding a new area code again.

Once the exhaustion date is firm, NANPA will meet with phone companies to discuss the options for how to implement the new area code and come up with a plan to present to the PUC, which has the final say on implementation.

After the PUC acts on NANPA’s recommendations, the organization will adopt a new number and set a date to add the new area code.

Faloon said NANPA has not yet decided what new area code will be assigned to Maine. She did say that the organization prefers to provide numbers that are significantly different from the existing area code to prevent confusion.

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