Southcentral Pa. residents will soon have to dial area codes

Written by The York Daily Record | Mar 4, 2017 9:13 AM

(Harrisburg) -- Start getting into the habit of dialing 717.

Beginning Saturday, telecommunication companies will encourage southcentral Pennsylvania residents to dial the full phone number, including the area code, for all calls.

The idea is to get residents accustomed to dialing 10-digit-numbers before they'll be required to do so when the the southcentral Pa. region gets a second area code this fall, said Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission spokesman Nils Hagen-Frederiksen.

The Commission approved the addition of the 223 area code last year to address the region's dwindling stock of remaining phone numbers, he said. The new area code will be issued sometime after Sept. 26, when the remaining 717 numbers are depleted.

Since the new 223 area code will cover the same geographic area as the 717 area code - York, Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin and Franklin counties and most of Lancaster and Lebanon counties - callers will soon need to include the area code to ensure calls go through, Hagen-Frederiksen said.

Saturday marks the beginning of a voluntary period in which callers will be encouraged to dial area codes for all calls. During this grace period, calls will still connect if the area code is not dialed.

But after Aug. 26, calls will not go through unless a 10-digit number is entered, Hagen-Frederiksen said. A recording will instruct callers to hang up and dial again with the area code

Hagen-Frederiksen said the purpose of the voluntary 10-digit-dialing period is to give people a chance to reprogram their contacts on their mobile devices to include the area code.

"It's a good opportunity now to do it while it's still an option," he said. "It's a good habit to get into."

Residents are also encouraged to update life safety systems, medical monitoring devices, security systems, speed dials, call-forwarding settings, fax machines, Internet dial-up, voicemail services and contact information to include their area code.

911 and other three-digit numbers will not need an area code.

This story is part of a partnership between WITF and the York Daily Record.


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