HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) is reminding residents and businesses in southeastern Pennsylvania about the upcoming implementation of a new “overlay” area code serving Philadelphia and some suburban communities.
A new “445” area code is being placed into service because the remaining supply of numbers in the current 215/267 area codes is nearly exhausted. The area serves Philadelphia and portions of Bucks, Montgomery, Lehigh and Berks counties.
The earliest date that any new 445 number can be placed into service is March 3, 2018 – according to North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA), the neutral third-party area code relief planner for Pennsylvania.
“It is important for consumers across the Philadelphia region to understand that the activation of this new area code will not change the way they dial calls or result in any changes to their service,” said PUC Chairman Gladys M. Brown. “For nearly 20 years, callers in the 215/267 area have been using 10-digit dialing – so the biggest adjustment for many will be recognizing that calls to-and-from the ‘445’ area code are still local calls.”
According to the NANPA petition, the dialing plan for the area code will remain the same:
Local & Toll calls to and from other numbers inside the 215/267/445 area: Dial 10-digits
Local & Toll Calls from the 215/267/445 area to numbers in another area code: Dial 1 + 10-Digits
Operator Services (credit card, collect, third party): Dial 0 + 10-Digits
A petition to implement this new overlay area code was submitted by NANPA in August 2016 and approved by the PUC on Nov. 9, 2016. The additional overlay area code was backed by the telecommunications industry and planning guidelines, which support the practice of requesting an overlay where an existing overlay is already in place.
The Commission offered the following tips to prepare for the start of the new 445 area code:
Continue to program/save/store phone numbers to all devices using the full 10-digit telephone number.
Verify that all services and equipment – such as automatic dialers, life-safety & medical alert systems, alarm/security systems and security gates, call-forwarding settings and voicemail services – recognize the new area code as a valid phone number.
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-2016-2560129