The 916 area code is running out of numbers.
The California Public Utilities Commission is considering how to add an area code to the Sacramento region.
Jonathan Lakritz is with the California Public Utilities Commission. He says there are two options to create more.
"We could split the 916 area code sort of in half and then one half of the customers would receive new telephone numbers and a new area code and the other half would retain their own telephone numbers."
The commission has the option to split the area covered by the 916 in half and give one group a new area code without changing the last seven digits.
Lakritz says other areas of the state have typically chosen to add an area code, called an overlay, that would be given only to new phone customers.
"In more recent times, it's all been overlays. People seem to adapt to them well. People aren't crazy about dialing 10 digits. But, as more and more people use cell phones, the need to dial 10 digits is not as great because the phones typically will add the area in."
Lakritz says technology is partially to blame for the number shortage.
"Everyone has multiple devices now. Everyone has I-Pads and smart cars and smart refrigerators and most of those devices require telephone numbers with them to get access to the internet."
Lakritz says before long, businesses that wish to sign up for large blocks of numbers with the same prefix won't be able to.
The 916 covers Sacramento County and parts of Sutter, Placer, and Eldorado Counties.
The CPUC is holding public hearings this week to collect ideas from the people who would be impacted.