New 531 Area Code Still Years Away


OMAHA, Neb. (AP) -- It'll probably be at least four more years before Nebraska's new 531 area code makes its debut, years later than originally forecast.

On Feb. 26, 2011, the state Public Service Commission said eastern and central Nebraska phone users would have to dial all 10 digits (the 402 area code plus the local number), in anticipation of starting a new 531 area code.

But the demand for new phone numbers has ebbed as fewer and fewer people become first-time cellphone customers.

PSC communications manager Gene Hand says the state hasn't gotten to its trigger for employing the 531 area code, which is 10 prefixes remaining for use in the 402 area. That's expected to be at least four years away.