In the past few years, the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) has approved several new area codes to accommodate the state’s growing population. In response to the increased need for area code relief, the North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA) provided an update and overview of the relief process to the PSC.
As explained by NANPA, each area code has a finite pool of available telephone numbers. As new numbers in an area code are assigned—to cell phones, new businesses, residents, etc.—there are fewer phone numbers available for use. When an area code is approaching exhaust, NANPA files a petition with the PSC to approve an area code relief plan. Upon PSC approval, NANPA and the telecommunications industry will implement the relief plan, which includes a new area code.
“The PSC must continue to do our part by finding solutions to accommodate continuing technology and population growth, while also minimizing impacts to customers,” said PSC Chairman Andrew Giles Fay.
Before 1995, Florida had only four area codes: 305, 407, 813, and 904. Since then, another 14 area codes have been added. No new area codes were assigned in Florida between 2003 and 2018, due, in part, to number conservation measures and careful oversight.
Chairman Fay noted that, “Since 2020, Florida has added more new area codes than any other state in the country.” Specifically, Florida has announced five area codes in the past four years. There is also one area code relief project pending at the Commission (904 area code) and one more is expected to be filed within the next two years (352 area code).
As the nation’s communications network continues to grow, NANPA explained the most common form of area code relief is to “overlay” a new area code on top of the area code running out of numbers. New customers receive numbers from that new area code, but existing customers are able to keep their numbers. This requires mandatory 10-digit dialing in that area. Access the PSC’s area code brochure for more information.
For additional information, visit www.floridapsc.com.
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