HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) approved a year-long plan leading to the start of a new overlay for the current 814 area code.
The 814 area code covers all or parts of 27 counties across Central and Northwestern Pennsylvania.
Under the plan, a new area code will be assigned to the same geographic area currently covered by the 814 area code. In the future – when no more 814 telephone numbers are available – telephone numbers from the new area code will be assigned to customers. This preserves existing phone numbers for residents and businesses in the region, while also ensuring that a supply of new numbers will be available for decades to come.
“First and foremost, it is important for residents and businesses throughout the 814 area code to understand that there will be no change in their telephone service,” stressed PUC Chairman Gladys Brown Dutrieuille. “The proposal approved by the commission today ensures that customers currently using 814 telephone numbers will keep their existing numbers, and the PUC is launching a year-long education campaign to help everyone prepare for a second ‘local’ area code in the region.”
The PUC notes that the biggest adjustment for residents will be the eventual switch to “10-digit dialing” – where callers will be required to dial the area code plus the seven-digit telephone number for all calls. To help consumers and businesses in the region adjust to the upcoming change, the PUC has approved a timetable to implement the new overlay area code, including the following key dates:
Oct. 1, 2020: Residents and businesses are encouraged to voluntarily start 10-digit dialing for calls in the 814 area code.
April 1, 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.
Between now and the spring of 2021, the PUC will work with consumers, businesses, community leaders, legislators and others across the region to help everyone prepare for the arrival of the new area code.
The 814 area code was established in 1947 and is one of Pennsylvania’s four original area codes.