If you live in the 717 area code, phone numbers are changing

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You'll soon be dialing a few more numbers when you make a phone call in Central Pennsylvania.

The Public Utility Commission approved a new plan Thursday that will add a new area code for callers currently using 717.

The PUC approved an overlay plan, which means people who already have a 717 phone number will keep it.

All new phone numbers in the 16 counties that make up Central PA will get a brand new area code.

All of this is because experts predict the 717 area code will run out of numbers some time next year.

Utility commissioners have been discussing what to do about the area code for about a year. Back in August the commission asked the public's opinion.

The new plan means when you dial a phone number in Central Pennsylvania, you will have to add the area code, whether it's 717 or whatever the new code is.

At this point there's not word on what the new area code will be.

The telecommunications industry must complete all of the necessary network preparations for the new overlay by March of next year.

The area code will go into effect when experts believe the remaining supply of available 717 numbers reaches three months.