The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) has reminded consumers that mandatory 10-digit dialing is set to begin next week for residential and business customers within the existing 570 area code.
Presently, customers in this area are taking part in a permissive dialing period. However, beginning Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013, mandatory 10-digit dialing will be required. During the upcoming mandatory dialing period, all calls must be made using the area code plus the seven-digit number. If only the seven-digit telephone number is dialed, customers will reach a recorded announcement stating they must hang up and redial the number using the area code plus the seven-digit number. This recording will be available permanently.
On July 15, 2010, the Commission approved an overlay plan for the 570 code, after consideration of public input and area code relief options. An overlay plan means that once the existing telephone numbers in the 570 area code are exhausted, new telephone services in that geographic region will be assigned telephone numbers out of the new area code, which has been designated as 272.
To ensure a continuing supply of telephone numbers, the new 272 area code has been added to the 570 area code region, which generally covers the northeastern portion of the state and serves communities such as Scranton, Williamsport and Wilkes-Barre. Beginning Oct. 21, 2013, customers in the 570 area code region requesting new service, an additional line, or in some cases, moving their service may be assigned a number in the new 272 area code.
Important facts for businesses and residents to remember during the transition:
* Your telephone number, including current area code, will not change.
* You will need to dial area code + telephone number for all local calls.
* You will continue to dial 1+ area code + telephone number for all long distance calls.
* What is a local call now will remain a local call.
* The price of a call, coverage area, or other rates and services will not change due to the overlay.
* You can still dial just three digits to reach 911.
* If 211, 311, 411, 511, 611, 711 or 811 are currently available in your community, you will still dial these codes with just three digits.
* You will need to reprogram any automatic dialing equipment or services that are programmed to dial a seven-digit number.
For more information on the dialing changes and the new 272 area code you may contact your service provider or visit the PUC's website.
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission balances the needs of consumers and utilities; ensures safe and reliable utility service at reasonable rates; protects the public interest; educates consumers to make independent and informed utility choices; furthers economic development; and fosters new technologies and competitive markets in an environmentally sound manner.
For recent news releases and video of select Commission proceedings or more information about the PUC, visit our website at www.puc.pa.gov. Follow the PUC on Twitter – @PA_PUC for all things utility. "Like" PAPowerSwitch on Facebook for easy access to information on electric shopping.