Florida Public Service Commission approves new area code for 813 region

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The 813 area code is expected to run out of numbers in 2022.

The Florida Public Service Commission on Tuesday approved creating a new telephone area code for the Tampa Bay area code as the region faces a shortage of available numbers.

The new area code will apply to the existing 813 boundary covering Hillsborough County and parts of north Pinellas County and southeaster portions of Pasco County including Tampa, Brandon, Land O’ Lakes, Oldsmar, Riverview, Thonotosassa, Town ‘n’ Country, Valrico and Zephyrhills.

The new number has not yet been determined.

The current supply of available 813 telephone numbers is expected to be exhausted by the third quarter of 2022.

The new area code is expected to last 37 years. It will be the state’s 20th area code.

Under the approved 13-month implementation would allow individuals with existing 813 area codes to keep those numbers. Only new numbers would be assigned the new area code.

Because the plan includes an overlay creating a second area code in the same geographic region, users with either of the area codes would have to use 10-digit dialing, meaning they’d have to dial the area code and the seven-digit phone number.

“As one of the most populous areas of Florida, Hillsborough county has thriving businesses and growing communities. Add all the new technologies that require telephone numbers to this, and it’s not surprising that a new area code is needed,” said PSC Chairman Gary Clark. “The approved overlay plan is customer-friendly. Current customers can keep their existing number, which is especially important to area businesses, and the six-month permissive dialing period will allow time for residents to adjust to 10-digit dialing.”

The North American Numbering Plan Administrator governs phone number in the U.S. The group identified a need for a new area code to supplement the 813 region in and held an industry meeting in September of 2019, prompting a petition for a new area code to the Florida Public Service Commission.

PSC staff workshopped the plan in February in a meeting that included public input.

The 813 area code is the second oldest in Florida and was first introduced in 1953 to add capacity to the 305 area code.

The original 813 region included  16 counties from Pasco County to inland portions of Monroe County. It was split to create the 941 area code in 1995 and the 727 area code in 1998.

A similar overlay was approved last year for the current 850 area code, which covers 18 counties and is used in cities such as Tallahassee, Panama City and Pensacola. The new area code, 448, is expected to start in 2021 in that region.

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.

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Content from the News Service of Florida was used in this report.

Janelle Irwin Taylor

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as senior reporter for WMNF News. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at [email protected]



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