Coming soon: A new area code on the Gulf Coast

Northwest Florida

The Florida Public Service Commission has approved a new area code for NWFL:

TALLAHASSEE — With new phone numbers in high demand in North Florida, the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) today approved an area code overlay that will add a new 448 area code to the area now served by the existing 850 area code. Expected to begin in mid-2021, the new area code overlay will affect only new phone numbers.

“Florida’s 850 area code is running out of telephone numbers, so this plan is needed to ensure a continuing supply of numbers,” said PSC Chairman Art Graham. “Now, the North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA) can begin processing the new area code for efficient implementation in 2021.”

New customers, or requests for additional lines, will be assigned the new area code. Existing customers will keep their current telephone numbers, including area code.  Once the overlay is fully implemented, all calls–including local calls–will require ten-digit dialing. 

NANPA is the neutral third-party administrator responsible for forecasting and planning for the exhaust of geographic area codes. An area code reaches “exhaust” when nearly all of the telephone prefixes within that area code are assigned. Prefixes follow the area code and are the first three numbers of a customer’s local phone number. A growing population and new technologies that require telephone numbers continue driving the demand for new numbers.

The 850 area code region consists of 18 counties in the Florida Panhandle, including the cities of Pensacola, Panama City, and Tallahassee.

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