Mandatory 10-Digit Dialing in 850 Area Code starts in 2021

Posted on August 10, 2020 by Staff reports

Beginning February 20, 2021, all local calls made within the Florida 850 area code will have use 10-digits: the area code + the 7-digit telephone number. Last November, the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) approved an “area code overlay” that will add the new 448 area code to the region now served by the existing 850 area code.

“Customers will have six-months to transition, beginning August 22, when local calls can be made by dialing either 7 or 10 digits,” said PSC Chairman Gary Clark. “This also gives customers adequate time to check and reprogram electronics and other equipment to incorporate 10-digit phone numbers.”

Beginning March 20, 2021, telephone customers in the 850 area code overlay region who request new service, an additional line or, in some cases, to move their service will be assigned the new 448 area code. Any needed reprogramming of alarm and home security equipment should occur between August 20, 2020 and February 20, 2021.

Following are important reminders about the 850/448 area code overlay:

• Your current telephone number, including current area code, will not change.
• If you seek new phone service after March 20, 2021, you may be assigned a phone number with the 448 area code.
• You will need to dial area code +telephone number for all local calls.
• You will continue to dial 1 + area code + telephone number for all long distance calls.
• What is a local call now will remain a local call.
• The price of a call, coverage area, or other rates and services will not change due to the overlay.
• You can still dial just three digits to reach 911. You can also dial three digits to reach 211 and 811, as well as 311 and 511, where available.

Telephone customers should remember to include their area code (3-digit area code + 7-digit telephone number) when giving their number to friends, family, business associates, and customers.

Customers should ensure that all services, automatic dialing equipment, or other types of equipment recognize the new 448 area code as a valid area code, and should continue to program 10-digit telephone numbers. Examples of such equipment are life safety systems and medical monitoring devices, stored telephone numbers in mobile and cordless phone contact lists, fax machines, Internet dial-up numbers, safety alarm and security systems and gates, speed dialers, call forwarding settings, voicemail services, and similar functions.

The 448 area code implementation is necessary because the 850 area code is running out of available numbers. For more information, contact your local telephone service provider or review the area code brochure on the PSC’s website.

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