TULSA, OK -- The state Corporation Commission conducted a town hall meeting in Tulsa on Wednesday morning concerning the 918 area code running out of numbers.
Commission Chief of Telecommunications Bennett Abbott says public participation is critically important.
"The Commissioners want to be sure all those in the 918 area code are part of the process and have their voices heard," Abbott said. "The feedback received will figure heavily in the recommendations that staff makes to the Commissioners."
There are two options. One is an area code split, which would make two area codes out of 918.
The other is an overlay which involves assigning a new area code to all new numbers within the 918 region.
Officials say technology is speeding up what they call the number exhaust.
"It's really not a question of population," said Matt Skinner, spokesman for the Corporation Commission. "We have cellular phones, burglar alarms, ATMs, automatic inventory systems, the list is almost endless, the internet. All those things require many, many phone numbers and there's only so many that go within one area code.
The commission had its first town hall meeting in McAlester on Monday. It also has meetings scheduled for Tahlequah, Bartlesville, Claremore, Vinita and Stroud.
A meeting in Muskogee is in the planning process.