HOUSTON -- Houston is no longer just the 713, the 281, or the 832.

The 346 telephone area code is now active as of Tuesday, July 1.

The new number involves an overlay of the three existing area codes in Harris, Fort Bend, Waller, Austin, Montgomery, San Jacinto, Liberty, Chambers, Galveston and Brazoria counties.

The North American Number Planning Administrator assigned 346 to Houston after projecting that the three existing area codes will run out of numbers by the end of September.

Public Utility Commission officials say the new area code does not require reprogramming of equipment. An area code overlay with 10-digit dialing for local calls already exists in the affected Houston area.

Census figures show Houston has a population of nearly 2.2 million.

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