Approved by the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) in November 2019, the 448/850 area code overlay is finally becoming a reality, with mandatory 10-digit dialing beginning on May 22, 2021 for all calls, including local calls. Existing and new phone numbers served by the 448/850 area codes will be affected.
“With Florida’s 850 area code running out of phone numbers, the 448 overlay plan and 10-digit dialing is necessary,” said PSC Chairman Gary Clark. “The good news is that Florida’s growing population and economy are driving this change. With today’s digital applications, programming 10-digit dialing into our contacts and devices is relatively easy.”
New customers, or requests for additional lines, are now assigned the new 448 area code. The PSC actually delayed mandatory 10-digit dialing implementation for three months—originally scheduled to begin in February—so that business customers in the overlay region had ample time to reprogram alarm systems and elevator operations.
The North American Numbering Plan Administrator is the neutral third-party administrator responsible for forecasting and planning for the exhaust of geographic area codes. An area code reaches “exhaust” when nearly all of the telephone prefixes within that area code are assigned. Prefixes follow the area code and are the first three numbers of a customer’s local phone number. A growing population and new technologies that require telephone numbers continue driving the demand for new numbers.
The 850/448 area code region consists of 18 counties in the Florida Panhandle, including the cities of Pensacola, Panama City, and Tallahassee.
For additional information, visit www.floridapsc.com.