Area codes 819 and 873 are area codes for central and western Quebec, Canada, including the Quebec portion of the National Capital Region, and the entire Hudson Strait and Ungava Bay coastlines of Quebec.
514 originally covered the entire western half of Quebec from the US border to Hudson Strait. In a 1957 flash cut, the 514 area was split into three segments - the southernmost remained 514, the middle became 819, and the northern part, which had no telephone services, was added to 418. 819 thus bordered 613 and the new 705 codes in Ontario and 418 on the east and north, and the remainder of 514 on the south.
When telephone service was introduced in the eastern Northwest Territories (most of this is now Nunavut Territory created in 1999), at Frobisher Bay in 1958, Bell Canada made it nominally part of Area code 418. Through the 1960s and 1970s, telephone service was introduced, by Bell Canada at other locations in the eastern N.W.T. and in locations along the Quebec Arctic coastline, as well as by Sotel, an independent company, in the James Bay region. These non-dialable locations also became part of 418.
Late in the 1970s, the northern portions of 418 served by Sotel and Bell along James, Hudson and Ungava Bays and Hudson Strait, as well as the eastern N.W.T., were assigned to 819 as exchanges in that area began to receive direct distance dialing. Thus 819 now also bordered Area code 709 of Newfoundland in the Torngat Mountain area, and Area code 403 where Bell Canada and Northwestel service areas met, as well as area codes 204 (Manitoba) and 807 (northwestern Ontario). Also, from the late 1970s until 1997, 819 extended one-eighth of the way around the world, from the 45th parallel north at Stanstead, Quebec to the North Pole by including much of the Northwest Territories along with most of western Quebec. (Northwestel used 403 for its services in Yukon and the Northwest Territories, but since 1999, 403 only serves southern Alberta including Calgary.)
In 1997-98, the portions of 819 in the Northwest Territories, plus the portions of 403 in the Northwest Territories and Yukon, were transferred to Area code 867, a newly created code to unite all northern territories (including Nunavut created in 1999). Thus, borders on 403, 204 and 807 were replaced with the single border on 867. Area code 514 was split, changing 819's boundary on 514 to a boundary with Area code 450.
The incumbent local exchange carriers in 819/873 are Bell Canada, Telus, as well as Telebec and other independent companies. From 1992 to 1997, Northwestel was also an incumbent carrier in 819.
Originally to be introduced in 2015, on July 20, 2011, the CRTC has moved up the introduction of the new 873 area code to September 15, 2012. The CRTC decided to move up the date, after a report stated that the current 819 area code would be exhausted by then.
Read more about Area Codes 819 And 873: Some of The Places That Use This Area Code
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