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New Area Code And Ten-Digit Dialing On All Calls Coming To Northwest Florida

The new 448 area code will soon be assigned to new phones and other devices in the 850 area code region.
Tom Flanigan
The new 448 area code will soon be assigned to new phones and other devices in the 850 area code region.

The steady growth in the quantity of devices that require telephone numbers will mean all calls made in the region will require dialing the area code.

Get ready to dial more digits and reprogram many of the phone numbers stored in your devices. Change is on the way for Northwest Florida's wireless and landline telephones.
Here's what's coming, said the Florida Public Service Commission's Public Utilities Supervisor Greg Fogelman:

"We are getting a new area code, 448."

The reason, explained Fogelman, is that the 850 area code is running out of available numbers, mainly because of all the devices that use phone numbers.

"My kids all have cell phones, I have a cell phone and I have a watch that has a phone number assigned to it. You multiply that out and it has a definite impact."

He added only new customers and devices will be given the new 448 area code.

"Everyone who has their number keeps their number. Nothing changes, so they don't have to change their letterhead or call their bank or lawyers. They don't have to change anything else. They're all set."

What will change is that after February 20th, all calls made in the 850/448 area will have to include the area code or the call won't go through. This will apply to both local and regional long distance calls and every form of telephonic device, whether wireless or traditional landline.

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Tom Flanigan has been with WFSU News since 2006, focusing on covering local personalities, issues, and organizations. He began his broadcast career more than 30 years before that and covered news for several radio stations in Florida, Texas, and his home state of Maryland.

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