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Area code 913 is the area code for telephone exchanges located in the Kansas portion of the Kansas City Metropolitan Area. Prior to July 20, 1997, 913 covered all of northern Kansas from the Colorado state line to the Missouri state line. It has since been reduced to a small ribbon of eight counties bordering Missouri.
Despite a relatively small population, Kansas was scheduled to receive two area codes under the original North American Numbering Plan proposal from the Bell Telephone Company in 1946. Originally, area codes would follow sequentially based on geography, and under the 1946 plan, Kansas would receive area codes 617 and 618.[dead link]
In October 1947, the final plan was adopted, and Kansas still had its two area codes, although the numbers had been radically altered from the original plan. The southern half of the state (Dodge City, Emporia, Garden City, Wichita) would receive 316, while the northern half (Kansas City, Shawnee, Overland Park, Topeka) would receive 913. All long-distance calls using area codes would not be implemented until late in 1951.
The original configuration was unusual for Kansas, a state which has usually seen east-west geographic disputes. However, a north-south split was deemed necessary because the state's three major metropolitan areas (Kansas City, Topeka, and Wichita)--and consequently, most of the state's landlines--are all in the east.
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The two area codes of Kansas remained constant for more than 40 years, but by the mid-1990s, the proliferation of cell phones, the population explosion in the Kansas City metropolitan area (most notably Johnson County), and deregulation due to the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the exchanges for area code 913 were quickly being exhausted. The supply of numbers was further limited because the Kansas side of the Kansas City area shares a LATA with the Missouri side, meaning several numbers in Missouri's area code 816 weren't available for use.
Late in 1996, the Kansas Corporation Commission, which oversees telecommunications in the state, requested relief from the NANPA for the exchanges of area code 913, and on February 12, 1997, the NANPA responded by splitting off the bulk of the old 913 territory--essentially, everything from Topeka westward--into the new 785 area code. From July 20, 1997 through October 2, 1998, a period of permissive dialing was in use, allowing customers affected by the new area code to use either 913 or 785 when dialing long-distance. On October 3, 1998, the 785 area code became mandatory in the new calling area, and 913 was reduced to the Kansas City area.
When area code 785 took away most of the geographic territory of area code 913, Wyandotte and most of Anderson, Douglas, Linn, Miami, Johnson, Leavenworth, and Atchison counties kept 913. It is also interesting to note that the City of Elwood (surrounded on 3 sides by Missouri) retained the 913 area code, despite the rest of Doniphan County switching to the 785 area code.
When area code 913 covered all of northern Kansas, the boundary ran from west to east roughly following a path along Kansas Routes 4 and 96 from the Colorado state line eastward. The code boundary dipped along Interstate 135 in McPherson County and continued east to just north of Emporia in Lyon County along the Kansas Turnpike, and then all the way to the Missouri state line.
|Kansas area codes: 316, 620, 785, 913|
|West: 785||area code 913||East: 660, 816|
|Missouri area codes: 314, 417, 573, 636, 660, 816|