HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission has approved a plan to overlay a new area code within the 16 counties currently covered by the 717 area code.
The 5-0 vote means customers currently in the 717 area code will keep their existing telephone numbers. When no more 717 numbers are available, numbers from the new area code will be assigned to customers, according to a PUC news release.
When the new area code is placed into service, customers in the current 717 area will be required to dial 10-digit telephone numbers – the area code plus the seven-digit number – regardless of whether they are calling a 717 number or a number in the new area code.
The overlay area code and the 10-digit dialing will be implemented over a nine-month period. Customers will be notified three months before 717 numbers are exhausted.
The supply of 717 phone numbers is expected to run out by next summer.
The PUC said the overlay option was supported by the telecommunications industry and the majority of people who submitted comments or testified at hearings.
The alternative would have been to split the region and give half of it a new area code.