A series of telephone number conservation measures initiated by the
Florida Public Service Commission may push back to the year 2009 the need to
impose mandatory 10-digit dialing for local calls in the Florida Keys.
The Commission will take up a staff recommendation at its May 31 agenda
conference which advocates leaving intact a number of measures geared toward
saving telephone numbers and staving off 10-digit dialing.
Projections made in 1999 indicated the availability of phone numbers beginning
with the area code 305 were dwindling. These projections led the
telecommunications industry to recommend 10-digit dialing for the Keys effective
August 1, 2001.
The Commission rejected the recommendation and instead undertook a series
of conservation measures aimed at preserving as many numbers as possible.
“We understand the difficulty consumers have dialing 10 digits to call a
neighbor across the street,” Commission Chairman Braulio Baez said. “We did
everything we could to avoid that situation in the Keys and it looks like we
can spare them that aggravation for a few more years.”
Measures employed by the Commission included taking back unused blocks
of numbers from carriers who did not assign the numbers to customers, giving
out numbers to carriers in blocks of 1,000 instead of 10,000, and a number of technical
Current projections call for mandatory 10-digit dialing in the middle of
2009 in the Keys. While 10-digit dialing is not currently required, Keys
residents can dial local calls using 10 digits during what is called a
“permissive dialing” period without incurring toll charges.