HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today reminded residents and businesses across Central Pennsylvania served by the 717 area code of the upcoming switch to 10-digit dialing for all local calls - in preparation for the activation of a new “overlay” area code, which will serve the entire region.
According to the implementation schedule for the “223” overlay area code, mandatory 10-digit dialing for all local calls will begin on Aug. 26, 2017. Starting on that date, if callers only dial a seven-digit number, they will reach a recorded announcement instructing them to hang up and redial the number using the area code plus the seven-digit number.
For the past several months, telephone callers in the 16-county 717 service area have been encouraged to voluntarily use 10-digit dialing (717 + the full local telephone number). The new 223 overlay area was approved based on forecasts that the remaining supply of available telephone numbers in the 717 area code was close to exhaustion.
According to Neustar, Inc., the neutral third party area code relief planner for Pennsylvania, the dialing plan for the 717/223 area code is as follows:
Local & Toll calls from the 717/223 area to other numbers inside the 717/223 area:
Dial 10-digits (717 or 223 + XXX-XXXX)
Local & Toll Calls from the 717/223 area to numbers in another area code:
Dial 1 + 10-Digits (1 + XXX-XXX-XXXX)
Operator Services (Credit card, collect, third party):
Dial 0 + 10-digit (0 + XXX-XXX-XXXX)
For the last several months, telephone carriers across the region have been providing their customers with educational materials about the upcoming dialing changes – encouraging them to begin voluntarily using 10-digit dialing for calls within the 717/223 service area and also checking the telephone numbers stored on their phones or other devices to ensure that they include the full 10-digit number.
The Commission’s Order approving the overlay plan specifies that any new numbers for the 223 overlay area code shall not be released until Sept. 26, 2017, and that requests for numbers in the 717 area code will continue to be honored as long as resources are available.
The overlay area code relief option was supported by the majority of individuals who submitted written comments or testified at PUC hearings, along with the telecommunications industry. Overlay area codes have now been approved for most of Pennsylvania and are in use across much of the country.
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission balances the needs of consumers and utilities; ensures safe and reliable utility service at reasonable rates; protects the public interest; educates consumers to make independent and informed utility choices; furthers economic development; and fosters new technologies and competitive markets in an environmentally sound manner.
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Docket No.: P-2015-2510230