NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) – Hold the phone: Connecticut needs a new area code.

As WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau reported, homes, cell phones and businesses in Hartford and points east could soon be assigned a phone number with a 959 area code.

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The state Public Utilities Regulatory Authority announced on Monday that the state’s fourth area code will be assigned where the 860 area code is used in northwestern, central and eastern Connecticut. Regulators are responding to rising demand for telephone numbers as cell phones multiply.

“There aren’t enough numbers left in reserve. That is, those numbers that have not been assigned to meet the forecast demand,” Mike Coyle with PURA told Schneidau.

Remaining unassigned numbers in the 860 area code are expected to run out by the end of the year.

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“It wasn’t that long ago that many households in Connecticut, for example, just had one phone number. And now it’s not uncommon for each member of that household to have a phone number,” Coyle said.

Regulators say the 959 area code will go into effect on Aug. 30. Customers requesting new service, another line or seeking to move phone service may be assigned a number in the 959 area code.

Area code 475 is already making its way into Fairfield County, where 203 has dominated prominently since the area code was first introduced, Schneidau reported.

The North American Numbering Plan says the 860 area code went into service in August 1995.

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