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Florida Area Code Changes | Getting Ready | History of Changes |
Questions & Answers
| 407/321 | 941/863

Questions And Answers For 941/863 Area Code Changes

In May, the Florida Public Service Commission (FPSC) assigned the 863 area code to Polk, Hardee, DeSoto, Highlands, Okeechobee, Glades and Hendry counties. The new area code was assigned because the 941 area code was close to running out of available phone numbers due to the demand for second phone lines, cellular phones, pagers and other telecommunications services. Sprint and GTE customers were split from the 941 area code and assigned the new 863 area code to make more numbers available. Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, Lee, Collier and Monroe counties will retain the 941 area code.

Permissive dialing for the new 863 area code began September 20. Mandatory usage of the 863 area code begins in May 2000.

Didnít the 941 area code just split a few years ago?

What action did the FPSC take to relieve the number shortage in the 941 area code?

What is the new area code?

Will every resident living in Polk, Hardee, DeSoto, Highlands, Okeechobee, Glades and Hendry counties get the new area code?

Will residents that reside in the overhangs have to dial differently?

When will the new area code take effect?

What is the life expectancy of the new area code and the 941 relief plan?

What is Sprintís official position on the plan?

Will a new area code have any effect on local or long distance rates?

Q: Didnít the 941 area code just split a few years ago?

A: Yes, the 813 area code was split off and the new 941 area code created in March 1996. Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco counties retained the 813 area code. (The 813 area code has since split again in July 1998, so that Pinellas and western Pasco County are now in the 727 area code, and Hillsborough and eastern Pasco counties retain the 813 area code.) Demand for new telephone numbers in the remaining 941 area code area is so great that a new area code is again needed.

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Q: What action did the FPSC take to relieve the number shortage in the 941 area code?

A: The FPSC adopted on Tuesday, May 18, 1999, an area code relief plan that divides Polk, Hardee, DeSoto, Highlands, Okeechobee, Glades, and Hendry Counties from the 941 area code. Customers in Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, Lee, Collier, and Monroe counties would retain the 941 area code under the proposal from FPSC staff. The PSC identified a geographic split plan after reviewing customer input gathered through a series of hearings held in Southwest Florida in recent weeks.

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Q: What is the new area code?

A: The North American Numbering Plan Administration (NANPA) assigned 863 as the new area code.

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Q: Will every resident living in Polk, Hardee, DeSoto, Highlands, Okeechobee, Glades, and Hendry counties get the new area code?

A: No. There are some exchanges that "overhang" into the counties that were split off into the new 863 area code. Customers located in the overhangs will keep the same area code because the split was drawn along exchange boundaries, not county boundaries. Some residents in southern DeSoto and western Hendry Counties will keep the 941 area code if they are located in the Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda, Lehigh Acres, or Immokalee exchanges.

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Q: Will residents that reside in the overhangs have to dial differently?

A: Yes. If a resident in the overhang is calling a number located in the new 863 area code, they will now have to dial 10-digits, area code plus the number. If an overhang resident is calling someone in the 941 area code, they can just dial the number as usual.

Although they are dialing a new area code, this will not affect the rate; it will remain the same as it was prior to the split.

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Q: When will the new area code take effect?

A: Customers calling anyone in Polk, Hardee, DeSoto, Okeechobee, Highlands, Glades, or Hendry County will begin permissive dialing of the new area code on September 20, 1999. Mandatory dialing of the new area code will be required on May 22, 2000.

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Q: What is the life expectancy of the new area code and the 941 relief plan?

A: The FPSC staff has estimated that the new area code will have a life expectancy of 8.9 years before modifications would have to be made to compensate for new growth. The revised 941 area code has an estimated life expectancy of 3.5 years. The FPSC will have to consider another relief plan for the 941 area code within that time.

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Q: What is Sprintís official position on the plan?

A: Sprint supports the decision, as the PSC feels the new alignment will benefit the greatest number of customers, based on input from local hearings that were held in SW Florida. The geographic split will not cause any major problems in the transition to the new area code because the affected area follows exchange boundaries.

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Q: Will a new area code have any effect on local or long distance rates?

A: No. The change will not affect rates or calling areas.

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