HARRISBURG -- Pretty soon, if you're making a local call in the 717 area code, you're going to have to do some extra dialing.
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission issued a reminder Tuesday to residents and businesses across the 717 area code that the switch to 10-digit dialing for all local calls -- in preparation for the activation of a new "overlay" area code, will begin on August 26.
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 the Pennsylvania PUC.
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.