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445: Philadelphia's New Area Code

Posted: March 13, 2018 by Rebecca Nutt

With Philadelphia’s new area code being launched, there is a little bit of confusion floating around, and rightly so. The region's main area code - 215 - was implemented in 1947. Almost five decades later 267 was added as an overlay to the original code. Each area had almost 800 variations, but with time those, too, were running out. So, in 2016 the groundwork for a new area code was laid. At that time, the new numbers could not be added until all of the older variations got used up.

The Pennsylvania 445 code will apply to new numbers from Philadelphia, and parts of Bucks County, Montgomery County, Berks County, and the Lehigh Valley. This code may apply to people after March 3, 2018. This is the region's third area code being placed into service.

The confusion comes into play when people think that all numbers are going to be changed. Th answer is simply, no, not all number are going to be changed. All old numbers will remain the same way and people getting new number would have a 445 prefix. All the users need to do is remember that calls with 445 are local calls. Don't forget, in case you change your number the new digits will be added. People with loved ones or acquaintances in southeastern Pennsylvania might have to dial the ten digit numbers.

Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission spokesman Nils Hagen-Frederiksen said that the area codes that were assigned in 1947 and 1999 would not be affected by the change. Unless obviously if they are calling or receiving a call from someone with the new code.

Most people are not happy about the change, but like with most changes, everyone will get used to it. Now, people who have received the 445 area code would have to employ ten-digit dialing, except for the three-digit services such as 911 or 411.

The Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission gave some tips to avoid confusion in the future. They want to remind the people to make sure that all the area codes are included in their stored numbers. They want the users to know that they should save all the numbers on their phones with the ten-digit phone number. Most importantly, they need to check that all of their services and communication gears are updated with the changes. These include automatic dialers, life-safety & medical alarm systems, security systems, and security gates, along with call forwarding and voicemail services.

There was also some confusion earlier in January when certain Verizon customers got messages regarding the new area code, along with a link to a map listing, would be launched February 3rd, which was never the case. As the new area codes were supposed to launch on March 3rd. It was either from a typographic mistake or maybe some other error, but the PUC clarified at that time that that was not the case.


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