A new area code will be added to the existing 561 region, through an overlay plan approved today by the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC). The plan will extend the current supply of available 561 area code numbers, which are expected to run out in 2023.
The new area code will cover the same geographic boundaries as the current 561 area code. Existing customers will keep their phone numbers, but new customers, or customers adding additional lines, will receive the new area code.
“Palm Beach County continues to prosper, with a growing population and thriving business community, so it’s no surprise that a new area code is needed,” said PSC Chairman Gary Clark. “A nice feature of the overlay plan is that current customers can keep their existing number. This is especially important to area businesses.”
To prepare customers for the change, the PSC approved a 9-month implementation schedule. PSC staff held a virtual customer workshop on November 5, 2021 to educate customers and receive their input about the 561 overlay plan.
Part of an overlay implementation includes transitioning all local calls to ten-digit dialing (area code plus the seven-digit phone number). However, prior to the overlay implementation Palm Beach County phone customers will have already transitioned to 10-digit dialing to accommodate the new “988” National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
Phone numbers in Florida and throughout the United States are governed by the North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA). In April 2021, NANPA forecasted a need for 561 area code relief. An industry meeting was held on October 12, 2021, and NANPA then filed a petition with the PSC favoring the “all-services distributed overlay plan.”
The 561 area code was introduced in 1996 when the 407 area code needed relief due to substantial growth in demand for telephone numbers. Currently, the 561 area code serves Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Wellington, Boynton Beach, Jupiter, Delray Beach, Belle Glade and other smaller communities.
For more information, residents can contact their local telephone carrier or call the PSC’s customer assistance line at 1-800-342-3552.
For additional information, visit www.floridapsc.com.
Follow the PSC on Twitter, @floridapsc.