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10-digit dialing in Austin begins this summer along with new area code

10-digit dialing in Austin begins this summer along with new area code

Austin Photo Set: News_Sam_sxsw_twitters to follow_march 2012_people on their phones
Dialing will take a little longer, beginning June 1.

You could say a "town" officially becomes a "city" when it outgrows its area code. Such is the case for Austin, which will run out of 512 numbers this year, reflecting Austin's frequent appearance on "fastest-growing cities" lists.

CultureMap reported last year that the 737 prefix would be introduced meet the needs of the flourishing city. Now we have the start date: July 1. 

Also new to the dialing game as of June 1 will be the need to enter 10 digits — the seven-digit number plus three-digit area code — when calling a fellow 512-friend from across the street. Fret not, the call will remain local and you won't be charged a long distance fee.

Already, the jokes regarding the end of Austin's authentic era have begun. “Oh, you’re a 737. That’s great. Yeah, this place really used to be something back when it was just 512," wrote the Austin-American Statesman on Monday morning. 

But plenty of other cities have weathered the expansion storm. For example, 10-digit dialing began in Fort Worth in 2000, and it still remains the sleepy, art-infused Cowtown it once was.

At the very least, the 737 prefix will serve as a surefire way to quickly identify an Austin newbie. We Texans like to take pride in whatever we can; now we can add to the list the cherished 512, alongside Willie Nelson, football and barbecue.