The entire Saskatchewan province of Canada has been allocated the area code 306 as per the NANP aka North American Numbering Plan. It is the original area code that was assigned to this region. However, with time and the increasing need for new telephone numbers in the area, overlay area code 639 was assigned and along with another overlay area code 474. The primary incumbent local exchange carrier is known as SaskTel in the Saskatchewan province.
For those who don’t know it, the area code 306 is among the original area codes that were assigned at the very beginning in the nine Canadian provinces along with the contiguous US way back in the year 1947. The CRTC i.e., the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission also planned a few area codes as reserved keeping in view the future needs of initial area codes.
This was devised by the CRTC in October 2010 as long-term nationwide planning. The authorities made a list of probable area codes that will get exhausted in the next 25 years and this was the time when area code 474 was set as an overlay area code for the province of Saskatchewan.
However later next year in early 2011, the CNA i.e., the Canadian Numbering Administrator revealed basis their study that there was an unforeseen surge in the new telephone number allocation in the area code 306 and it could get exhausted over the next three years. History referred to this situation as ‘Jeopardy Condition’. Immediate actions were supposed to be taken by the CRTC and they did the same.
CRTC appointed a planning committee that assessed various possible solutions to this situation. The very first one was to split the area code into two area codes where the existing customers in one of the two area codes would have to switch their current telephone numbers. However, this option did not go through and later it was decided to assign an overlay area code which seemed to be a better solution. CRTC had already recommended area code 474 as an overlay code a year before, and the planning committee resonated with the same solution in the initial document dated 18th May 2011.
But the final report of the planning committee was published on 13th July 2011, and it recommended a new area code of 639. Both the solutions looked completely viable, and the only difference was in the change of the area code number. There wasn’t any clarification on the matter as to why the committee did not go with the earlier allocated overlay number 474. However, in the news, it was rumored to have been initiated by SaskTel to eschew the earlier overlay code 474.
The reason cited by the news reports is that 474 may cause tetraphobia in the community and hence it should be avoided. The replacement of it in the form of 639 was assigned based on the mathematical similarities to existing area code 306.
All the recommendations made by the planning committee were accepted by the CRTC on 26th August 2011. They also decided to go with the 10-digit dialing system which is a mandatory requirement for an area with an overlay code. The time duration phasing of the new dialing system was between 25th February 2013 and 11th May 2013. The introduction date of the new overlay code 639 was decided as 25th May 2013. Saskatchewan province was the last of the original Canadian NPAs where 10 digit dialing system was implemented after the introduction of an overlay area code 639.
Later in July 2018, the CRTC reserved area code 474 as an additional overlay code for the province as the existing area codes 306 and 639 were forecasted to get exhausted by June 2022. It was then finally allocated on 2nd October 2021 as an overlay code.
Key facts about area code 306
Area: Area code 613 covers the whole of Saskatchewan province in Canada.
Major Cities: Humboldt, Estevan, North Battleford, Moose Jaw, Regina, Prince Albert, Swift Current, Saskatoon, Yorkton, Weyburn, and other smaller communities in the Saskatchewan province.
Canada’s Dialling Code: The dialing code for Canada is +1.
Time-zone: The area code falls in the Central time zone and mainly follows CST (Central Standard Time). Between mid of March time and early November, when daylight saving time is observed everywhere, it follows the Central Daylight Time / CDT. The standard time zone remains as UTC/GMT – 6.00 hours and there is a daylight saving time of + 1.00 hours. During the daylight saving period, due to the time zone offset, the standard time zone becomes UTC/GMT – 5.00 hours.
Introduction date: It was introduced on the 1st of January 1947.
Popular prefixes in 306: 988 / 655 / 914 / 241 / 933 / 994 / 717 / 807 / 992 / 766 / 993 / 778 / 261 / 862 / 873 / 221 / 227 / 975 / 446 / 741