Public Service Commission: ‘The 305’ needs a third area code

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South Florida is running out of phone numbers.

“The 305” is shorthand for Miami-Dade, but the region will soon have a third telephone area code now that possible number combinations are being exhausted as demand for phone lines escalates.

Officials announced Tuesday at a Florida Public Service Commission workshop that both 305 and the second area code for Miami-Dade and Monroe counties, 786, will soon be used up. Ten-digit combinations to form a unique telephone number will be exhausted by the first quarter of 2024, they said.

All but 12 of the 792 usable prefixes in the 305-area code have been depleted of combinations. And all but 73 of those 792 usable prefixes in the 23-year-old 786-area code have been assigned.

“A new area code is needed to replenish the supply of prefixes,” said Cecilia McCabe, a relief planner with the North American Numbering Plan Administrator.

Each prefix yields 10,000 numbers, McCabe said.

The upcoming change will not affect existing numbers, she added.

The new area code likely will not be announced until the next meeting in February.

The “305” is Florida’s original area code, said Sakina Deas, a researcher with the state Public Service Commission. It was assigned in 1947 and once covered the entire state, until the “813” was born in 1953, she said. Now the state has 22 area codes.

Palm Beach County also will be adding another area code in 2022 to replenish its number supply, which currently will be exhausted in the 561 area code. The possibilities for that area code are expected to run out sometime in 2023, The Palm Beach Post reported earlier this month.

Area codes were assigned to certain geographic areas before the dawn of wireless communication and have certainly become something of a misnomer. Arguably, Florida could be home to every area code in the country. As landlines become more and more obsolete, people tend to travel with their phone numbers from one locale to the next, meaning plenty of South Florida transplants have phone numbers that hail from other states.

Anne Geggis

Anne Geggis is a South Florida journalist who began her career in Vermont and has worked at the Sun-Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal and the Gainesville Sun covering government issues, health and education. She was a member of the Sun-Sentinel team that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Parkland high school shooting. You can reach her on Twitter @AnneBoca or by emailing [email protected]



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