Press Releases

PUC Urges Southeast PA Residents to Prepare for March 3 Start of New “445” Area Code; Notes Upcoming Educational Events

February 15, 2018

HARRISBURG – In advance of the upcoming implementation of a new “overlay” area code for Southeastern Pennsylvania, the Public Utility Commission (PUC) today urged residents and businesses to take steps to prepare themselves and noted several upcoming community events to address potential questions.

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.

PUC outreach specialists will be available at the following events to address a variety of consumer issues, including the new area code:

Friday, Feb. 16, 2018 – 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Coalition of 100 Black Women Economic Committee Consumer Resources & Utility Assistance Workshop
New Covenant Church of Philadelphia
Grannum Hall, Room B10
7500 Germantown Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19119

Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018 – 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Rep. Joanna McClinton’s Energy Forum
18th District Police Station
5510 Pine St.
Philadelphia, PA 19143

“First and foremost, consumers across the Philadelphia region should 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 – ‘local calls’ under your current calling plan will remain local calls,” said PUC Chairman Gladys M. Brown.

The PUC noted that callers across Southeastern Pennsylvania have been using 10-digit dialing for nearly 20 years – since the 267 overlay area code was established in conjunction with the 215 area code. For most residents and businesses, the biggest adjustment will be recognizing that calls to-and-from the ‘445’ area code are still local calls.

Current customers will keep their existing 215 or 267 phone numbers, but starting March 3, 2018, residents or businesses seeking new telephone lines may be assigned numbers in the 445 area code.

According to the petition from the North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA), 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

The Commission offered the following tips to prepare for the start of the new 445 area code:

  • Check your devices to verify that area codes are included with all stored numbers.
  • 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.

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.

For recent news releases and video of select Commission proceedings or more information about the PUC, visit our website at Follow the PUC on Twitter – @PA_PUC for all things utility.  “Like” Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission on Facebook for easy access to information on utility issues.

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Docket No.: P-2016-2560129

Contact:Nils Hagen-Frederiksen
Press Secretary

Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission
Press Office
P.O. Box 3265, Harrisburg, PA 17105-3265
(717) 787-5722 FAX (717) 787-4193

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