Neighbors: Overlay option preferred in 717 area code change

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – The state Public Utility Commission is addressing a looming shortage of telephone numbers in central Pennsylvania by hearing from people who live in the 16-county region that currently uses the 717 area code. reports utility commissioners took input from neighbors and business owners Tuesday that indicates overwhelming support for a new area code in the region.

The 717 codes covers the Harrisburg, York and Lancaster areas and beyond.

Utility commissioners are considering whether to split the region and give half a new area code, or create an overlay that would put all new numbers into a new area code.

An overlay would require residents to dial the area code plus the seven-digit phone number to call others within the 16 counties.

The 717 area code is projected to run out of phone numbers in 2018.

PUC representatives say most telephone companies prefer the overlay option.

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