B.C. will have a new area code starting June 1. The new code, 236, is being introduced by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission in response to increasing demand for new numbers.

Existing phone numbers will not be affected, according to Telus, and 604, 778 and 250 numbers are still available in some areas.

The availability of phone numbers with the new area code will differ by community, depending on local inventory and demand.

Businesses are being encouraged to start making any necessary changes by reprogramming communications systems and equipment to accept the 236 area code as local.

Geographic boundaries governing long distance calling, and three-digit numbers such as 211, 311, 411, 611 and 911 emergency services will not be affected.

Residential customers don’t need to make any changes.