A new area code is being added to the 850 calling area
HOLT, Fla., July 29, 2020—The days of dialing a seven-digit phone number are about to change in this area.
A second area code, 448, will be added to the existing area code to generate more telephone numbers.
Because of this, all local calls will require 10-digit calling, using the area code.
The new number serves the same geographic area as the existing 850 area code and will not require users to change their existing area code.
New 10-digit dialing begins with a phase-in period, beginning Aug. 22. Calls without the area code will still go through.
However, beginning Feb. 20, 2021, calls won’t be connected unless the area code is used.
In addition to adding the area code, any automatic dialing equipment programmed to dial a seven-digit code will need to be changed. This can include life safety systems, fax machines, internet dial-up numbers, alarm and security systems or gates, speed dial, etc.
Telephone numbers won’t change, nor will the price of the call—local calls remain local calls. And the 911 emergency system will still work without adding the area code.
The new area code was needed because this area is running out of seven-digit phone numbers. Studies indicate numbers for this area will run out sometime in 2022.
More and more devices require their own telephone numbers, such as iPads, smart TVs, security systems, some utility meters for device-to-device communication, etc. This need is depleting phone number availability under a single area code.
With this change, Northwest Florida will join Miami-Dade County, Broward County and the Orlando area which all have two area codes and require 10-digit calling.