A fourth area code may soon be coming to Ellis County. The Public Utility Commission of Texas has announced that it is reviewing a petition to add a new telephone area code to accommodate continued growth in and around Dallas.

In a news release on Friday, the PUC said that the North American Number Planning Administrator, or NANPA, is projecting that the three existing area codes — 214, 972 and 469 — will run out of numbers by the third quarter of 2021, according to its filing with the PUC. NANPA projects that the additional area code will keep the area in supply of new numbers for the next 13 years.

Neustar Inc., the company that is serving the role of NANPA, first filed the petition with the PUC on October 8 of last year.

The new area code, which has not been determined yet, would overlay the three existing area codes in virtually all of Ellis County, as well as all of Dallas and Rockwall counties and parts of Denton, Tarrant, Johnson, Kaufman and Hunt counties.

In the event that a fourth area code is assigned, it would overlay the existing three area codes, in the same manner that 469 and 972 were overlaid in the original 214 area code in the last couple of decades. Customers would be able to retain their current numbers and the current dialing method of 10 digits locally would not change.

The PUC is accepting comments regarding the proposal over the next four weeks. Comments may be submitted no later than Nov. 16 to the Filing Clerk, Public Utility Commission of Texas, 1701 North Congress Avenue, P.O. Box 13326, Austin, Texas 78711-3326.