HARRISBURG, Pa. – A second area code is coming to the 27 counties currently served by the 814 code, and the Public Utilities Commission is asking residents of those counties to start preparing now.
The PUC asked current 814 area code citizens to begin using 10-digit dialing for all local phone calls. This voluntary period runs until April 3, 2021, at which point 10-digit dialing will be required.
The 814 area code is running out of its available supply of numbers, so a new “overlay” area code (582) is set to be placed in service May 1, 2021.
“The 814 area code was established in 1947 and is one of Pennsylvania’s four original area codes,” the PUC said in a press release. “814 is the largest area code in the state, geographically, and the only area that hasn’t already received an additional area code overlay to replenish its dwindling supply of phone numbers.”
The new area code won’t change existing numbers, rather it creates a new supply of number combinations to serve the region once the existing supply of 814 numbers runs out.
“The use of an overlay area code preserves existing phone numbers for residents and businesses in the region, while also ensuring that a supply of new numbers will be available after 814 number combinations are no longer available,” the release said. “The biggest adjustment for residents and businesses across the region is the switch to ’10-digit dialing,’ where callers will be required to dial the area code plus the seven-digit telephone number for all calls.”
The PUC is also encouraging people to check all devices with stored phone numbers to make sure the area code is included.
“Moving forward, when adding any new numbers to those devices, be sure you include the area code,” the PUC said. “Additionally, check devices that are programmed to automatically make phone calls – like medical alert systems, alarms and other automated systems – to be sure they are set up for 10-digit dialing.”
Devices that should be checked for 10-digit dialing include:
- Mobile phones, landline phones & tablets and fax machines that can save/store phone numbers.
- Life-safety & medical alert systems.
- Alarm/security systems and security gates.
- Call-forwarding settings & voicemail services.
- Internet dial-up systems.
- Automatic dialing equipment & software.
- Any other device that can save, store and automatically dial phone numbers.
The 814 area code includes cities such as Altoona, Erie, Johnstown and State College, and covers all or parts of 27 counties, including Armstrong (northeastern portion only); Bedford; Blair; Cambria; Cameron; Centre (majority of the county); Clarion (all except portions of west); Clearfield; Clinton (small portions); Crawford (all except southwestern portion); Elk; Erie; Fayette (small portions); Forest; Fulton (western portions); Huntingdon (except Kishacoquillas Valley); Indiana (northern and eastern portions only); Jefferson; McKean; Mercer (extreme northeastern portion); Mifflin (extreme southwestern corner); Potter; Somerset; Tioga (western portions only); Venango (all except southeastern corner); Warren; and Westmoreland (extreme northeastern corner only).