HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission has learned that the number 582 will be the new area code for the portions of the current 814 area code that will be changing in 2012.
The North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA) informed the PUC that 582 will be assigned as the new area code for portions of the current 814 area code west of Jefferson, Elk and McKean counties. The boundary runs in a north/south direction east Shinglehouse, Wilcox, Kersey, Dubois and Sykesville rate centers. Maps showing the county split and the rate center split are available on the Commission’s website.
On Dec. 16, 2010, the PUC approved a plan to split the 814 area code along geographic boundaries to avoid running out of phone numbers, creating a new area code for customers in portions of northwestern Pennsylvania.
The new area code will be implemented Feb. 1, 2012. The Commission will continue to closely monitor phone number demand in the 814 area code to determine whether the implementation timeline meets the needs within the area code.
The 814 area code is projected to run out of telephone numbers in the first quarter of 2013. New area codes are needed when existing area codes exhaust their supply of “NXX” codes (which is the second set of three digits in a 10-digit telephone number, NPA-NXX-XXXX). Of the original four Pennsylvania area codes, the 814 area code was the only one to remain unchanged. With the split, Pennsylvania now will have 12 area codes – 412/724/878, 570/272, 814, 582, 717, 610/484 and 215/267.
On June 9, 2009, NANPA, which is the neutral third party area code relief planner for Pennsylvania, petitioned the PUC for area code relief. The Commission said the geographic split for the 814 area code created less inconveniences than an overlay. Because of the geographic size of the 814 area code and the location of population centers, the Commission said the geographic split was more practical for the 814 area code.
With the geographic split, consumers may continue to dial seven digits for local calling. The other option available to the Commission – an overlay – would have covered the entire 814 area code with a new area code and required 10-digit dialing throughout a large geographic area in Pennsylvania.
When introducing a new area code, a permissive dialing period of about six months is allowed while customers adjust to the change. During this time, customers may reach numbers in the new area code by either dialing 814 or the new area code. Even with permissive dialing, customers are encouraged to use the correct dialing. Once the permissive dialing period has ended, customers will receive a recorded message telling them to hang up and redial the numbers using the new area code.
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission balances the needs of consumers and utilities to ensure safe and reliable utility service at reasonable rates; protect the public interest; educate consumers to make independent and informed utility choices; further economic development; and foster new technologies and competitive markets in an environmentally sound manner.
For recent news releases, audio of select Commission proceedings or more information about the PUC, visit our website at www.puc.state.pa.us.
Docket Number P-2009-2112925