Florida 813 Area Code Gets New Overlay
The Florida region is adding a new area code - 656 - which may change how you dial locally. Here’s what you need to know:
By Fiona McDonnell
New 656 Area Code Overlay?
An overlay is the addition of another area code to the same geographic region as an existing area code to ensure there are enough new numbers for a growing population. In this instance, certain regions in Flordia will be serviced by a new area code. All of Hillsborough County, the city of Oldsmar, and the central and southeastern portions of Pasco County will add 656 to the area currently being serviced by the 813 area code.
This does not mean that your current 813 number will change, but you will need to make some changes to the way you dial local numbers in this area.
813 Area Codes Affected?
The 813 area code serves all of Hillsborough County, the city of Oldsmar in Pinellas County, and the central and southeastern portions of Pasco County. The new 656 area code will serve the same geographic area currently served by the existing 813 area code.
How 813 Area Codes are Affected by 656?
To complete local calls, the new dialing procedure requires callers to dial area code + telephone number. This means that all calls in the 813 area code that are currently dialed with seven digits will need to be dialed using area code + telephone number. The same dialing procedure will apply to telephone numbers assigned to the new 656 area code.
Key Dates for 656 Rolling Out?
Effective April 17, 2021, you should begin using the new dialing procedures whenever you place a call from the 813 area code. If you forget and dial just seven digits, your call will still be completed.
Beginning January 22, 2022, you must use the new dialing procedures, as described above. On and after this date, if you do not use the new dialing procedures, your calls will not complete. A recording will instruct you to hang up and dial again including the area code.
Beginning February 22, 2022, new telephone lines or services may be assigned numbers using the new 656 area code.
What will you need to do?
In addition to changing your dialing procedures, all services, automatic dialing equipment, or other types of equipment that are programmed to dial a 7-digit number will need to be reprogrammed to use the new dialing procedures. Some examples are life safety systems, PBXs, fax machines, Internet dial-up numbers, alarm and security systems or gates, speed dialers, call forwarding settings, voicemail services, etc. You may also want to check your business stationery or advertising materials to ensure the area code is included.
What will remain the same?
-Your telephone number, including current area code, will not change.
- The price of a call, coverage area, or other rates and services will not change due to the overlay.
- What is a local call now will remain a local call regardless of the number of digits dialed.
- You can still dial just three digits to reach 911.
- If 211, 311, 411, 511, 611, 711 or 811 are currently available in your community, you will still dial these codes with just three digits.
Who can you contact with questions?
If you have any questions regarding the information provided in this notice, please reach out to our team of experts who are available to help 24/7/365. You can also access more information on the Florida Public Service Commissions website.