HARRISBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) – The familiar 814 area code is ready to join with the area code ‘582’ overlay while both will co-exist in our area and 10-digit dialing will be a necessity for all residents.
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) encourages residents and businesses in the current 814 area code, which covers all or parts of 27 counties across Central and Northwestern Pennsylvania, to prepare for the start of mandatory 10-digit dialing for all telephone calls, which will begin on Saturday, April 3, 2021.
For the last several months, callers across the 814 area code have been able to use 10-digit dialing for local calls – to test their devices and prepare for the upcoming changes – and now is the time to get ready, if you have not done so already.
The beginning of mandatory 10-digit dialing marks the next major step toward the arrival of a new “overlay” area code – 582 – which will eventually serve side-by-side with the current 814 area code. The 582 area code will be assigned to new telephone numbers once the available supply of numbers in the current 814 area code is exhausted.
As of April 3rd, anyone attempting to make a call in the 814 area code using only seven digits (without the area code) will receive a recorded message prompting them to hang up and redial the call using the full ten-digit number (area code plus 7-digit phone number).
Preparing Your Devices
To begin preparing for 10-digit dialing, consumers and businesses are encouraged to check devices that store telephone numbers – including cell phones and other devices with “speed dial” functions – to be certain that all the stored contacts include the area code. Moving forward, when adding any new numbers to those devices, be sure you include the area code.
It is essential to double-check devices like medical alert systems, alarms, and any other systems that automatically make calls, to be certain they are set up for 10-digit dialing.
Devices that should be checked to verify they are configured 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.
Consumers or businesses with questions about the compatibility or programming of their devices should contact their equipment or service providers.
To help consumers and businesses in the region adjust to the area code change, the PUC approved a timetable to implement the new overlay:
• October 3, 2020 – Beginning of voluntary 10-digit dialing for calls in the 814 area code.
• April 3, 2021 – 10-digit dialing will be required for all calls.
• May 1, 2021 – The new overlay area code will be placed into service.
(New area code numbers will not be assigned until available 814 numbers are exhausted)
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 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.
About the 814/582 Area Codes
The 814 area code was established in 1947 and is one of Pennsylvania’s four original area codes.
It 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.
It 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).
The 582 area code designation was selected by the North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA), Somos, Inc., the neutral third-party which administers telephone resources across the United States.