The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) encourages consumers to prepare for “permissive 10-digit dialing” for the new 656 area code in the 813 region. Also in April, four Florida area code regions using the 988 prefix will begin permissive 10-digit dialing to prepare for 9-8-8 becoming the new National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number.
“Permissive dialing provides a ‘get acquainted’ transition period for the new area code in the populous Hillsborough County,” said PSC Chairman Gary Clark. “Also in some Florida area codes, we now begin a transition to implement the new nationwide Suicide Prevention effort. In all affected area codes, permissive dialing allows plenty of time for people and businesses to prepare by reprogramming contacts and equipment.”
Permissive Dialing Begins on April 10 in 813 Area Code
A new area code, 656, was added to the existing 813 area code region through an overlay implementation plan approved by the PSC in March 2020. The new 656 area code will cover the same geographic boundaries of the current 813 area code. Existing telephone customers will keep their numbers, but new customers, or customers adding additional lines, will receive the new 656 area code.
On April 17, permissive dialing will start. During this period, consumers are encouraged to dial the area code plus the seven-digit phone number to make local calls (10-digit dialing); calls will still be completed if the seven-digit telephone number is dialed. Permissive dialing for 813/656 ends on January 22, 2022 and mandatory 10-digit dialing will begin.
The 813 area code was introduced in 1953. It was the second area code assigned in Florida, implemented when the 305 area code was running out of telephone numbers. Currently, the 813 area code serves all of Hillsborough County, the City of Oldsmar in Pinellas County, and the central and southeastern portions of Pasco County.
Permissive Dialing Begins on April 24--transitioning to 10-Digit Dialing for 988
In July 2020, the Federal Communications Commission approved 988 as the 3-digit abbreviated dialing code for quick access to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Where 988 is an existing prefix (the first three numbers of a 7-digit local phone number), customers will need to start using an area code for all calls to ensure that local calls to phone numbers beginning with 988 are not routed to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by mistake.
On April 24 permissive dialing begins for area codes: 321 (in Brevard County), 352, 561, and 941. Consumers are encouraged to dial the area code plus the seven-digit phone number to make local calls (10-digit dialing). If you forget and dial just 7-digits, your call will still be completed. Permissive dialing for the 9-8-8 transition ends on October 24, 2021, and mandatory 10-digit dialing will begin.
For additional information, visit www.floridapsc.com.
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