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New area code eyed for Northwest Florida

The 850 area code will “exhaust” during the first quarter of 2022.

Amid concerns that the 850 area code will “exhaust” in 2022, state regulators are considering a proposal that could lead to an additional area code in Northwest Florida.

Staff members of the state Public Service Commission will hold a workshop Sept. 6 after receiving a petition aimed at addressing a shortage of remaining phone numbers in the region served by the 850 area code.

That region includes cities such as Tallahassee, Pensacola and Panama City.

The North American Numbering Plan Administrator, an organization that works on area-code planning, filed a petition in June with the Public Service Commission saying that the 850 area code will “exhaust” during the first quarter of 2022.

The petition recommends approval of what is known as overlay, which would involve assigning a new area code to the same area covered by the 850 area code.

The Public Service Commission would ultimately have to sign off on a new area code, as it did last year when it approved a new 689 area code for parts of Central Florida.

That new code, which took effect in June, was an overlay of the 407 and 321 area codes in Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties and parts of Lake and Volusia counties.

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