Beginning January 22, 2022, all local calls made within the Tampa Bay area will officially move to a 10-digit dialing system which requires the use of both the area code and the 7-digit telephone number. The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) approved the new 656 area code in March 2020 because available 813 are code numbers is expected to run out this year.
“To ensure the demand of new phone numbers in Hillsborough County is satisfied, the Commission extended the supply of available numbers by approving the new 656 area code,” said PSC Chairman Andrew Fay. “Customers have been getting used to 10-digit dialing during the transition period in the past nine months, but now is the time to ensure you have made the necessary changes to your devices.”
Beginning January 22, 2022, telephone customers in the 813 area code overlay region may be assigned the new 656 area code when requesting new service, an additional line or moving their service. Any needed reprogramming of alarm and home security equipment should occur before January 22.
Following are important reminders about the 813/656 area code overlay:
• Your current telephone number, including current area code, will not change.
• If you seek new phone service after February 21, 2022, you may be assigned a phone number with the 656 area code.
• You will need to dial area code + telephone number for all local calls.
• You will continue to dial 1 + area code + telephone number for all long-distance calls.
• The price of a call, coverage area, or other rates and services will not change due to the overlay.
• You can still dial just three digits to reach 911. You can also dial three digits to reach 211 and 811, as well as 311 and 511, where available.
• Include your area code when giving your number to friends, family, and business associates.
Customers should ensure that all services, automatic dialing equipment, or other types of equipment recognize the new 656 area code as a valid area code, and should continue to program 10-digit telephone numbers. Examples of such equipment are life safety systems and medical monitoring devices, stored telephone numbers in mobile and cordless phone contact lists, and safety alarm and security systems.
For more information about the area code changes, 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.