New 448 Area Code Coming To The 850. Here’s When It Happens.

January 12, 2020

A schedule to roll out the new 448 area code for Northwest Florida has been announced.

The current 850 area code will run out of available phone numbers in early 2022, and state regulators late last year approved the addition of the 448 area code to alleviate the number crunch. The new area code would cover the same area as the current 850 area code, which includes Escambia County to Tallahassee.

Phone companies will begin network preparation and customer education about the new area code on February 22, 2020.

During a permissive dialing period beginning August 22, 2020, phone subscribers may dial local calls within the overlay area on either a 7-digit or 10-digit basis, but will be encouraged to dial 10-digits. After the permissive period ends on February 20, 2021, all calls must be dialed using 10-digits.

The earliest date someone may receive a number with the new 448 area code will be March 20, 2021.

All existing customers will retain the 850 area code and would not have to change their telephone numbers, according to the Florida Public Service Commission.


23 Responses to “New 448 Area Code Coming To The 850. Here’s When It Happens.”

  1. Bryan Bethea on January 16th, 2020 8:32 pm

    Here are the simple, basic facts:

    - All existing 850 numbers will remain as 850 numbers.

    - Dialing the area code + number will be required for local calls. This shouldn’t be a challenge for cell phone users or Frontier customers in Walnut Hill and Molino. 10 digit dialing has been required there for a while now.

    - Local calls will remain local calls, even if you are calling a 448 number.

    - It will be quite a while before you start seeing 448 numbers pop up. All 850 prefixes have to be used up before 448 can be assigned to anyone.

    - Overlays are very common. Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Orlando all have overlays today while Tampa and Jacksonville will join the overlay club in 2022 after 850 does. Where I live in Chicago we have 312, 773, and 872 all mixed in together.

    - There are currently 95 other overlay area codes across the US. People in those areas have adjusted just fine.

  2. Charlie on January 15th, 2020 1:00 pm

    @James—How so twice as many scam calls? You will have only one area code for your phone, not two. Only new accounts will have the new area code, & only in the future, when all 850 area codes have been used up.

  3. James on January 14th, 2020 6:19 pm

    Great, now we will get twice the number of telemarketers and scam calls

  4. gODSlOVE4eVER on January 14th, 2020 12:09 pm

    I’ve learned two things reading this thread:

    1. People are REALLY protective of their area codes.
    2. People REALLY don’t want to have to add a 1 at the beginning of a phone number.

  5. Charlie on January 13th, 2020 12:24 pm

    @JUST ME—I don’t think you have to dial a “1″ in front of the area code (11 total numbers), unless specified by a number that might ask you to do so, usually company toll free numbers. I don’t on my cell phone. My contact list already has the 850 manually added in when I add a new number. I see that some comments do not seem to understand the above story detailed explanations. Read it again slowly, to understand the explained details. Part of the reason for a new area code, is the huge increase in cell phones needing new numbers for each new cell phone service. Seems like everyone has a cell phone now, & each new customer needs a new number. As explained clearly above, existing customers get to keep the 850 area code. Only new customers will need the new 448 area code, when they eventually run out of available 850 numbers. Atlanta had to do that years ago.

  6. retired on January 13th, 2020 10:00 am

    @ Greg
    they use a program to show a “GHOST” number, on callerID.

    @ just me
    I don’t have that problem?

  7. Alexis Bolin on January 13th, 2020 12:03 am

    If you read through to the end, the article said if you already gave an 850 area code you won’t have to change. But with the new 448 area code you will have to dial all 10 digits. This is going on in other market places and appears to be working well.

    I’m so happy that we don’t all have to change to the new area code because it would be very costly for businesses like mine, I am a Realtor, who Would have to spend a lot of money to change all of their marketing pieces there’s signs, stationary et Cetera

  8. Greg on January 12th, 2020 6:05 pm

    Every scam and sales call I get is on a different 850 number. How do they get all these numbers and is that part of the problem?

  9. Mark on January 12th, 2020 5:27 pm

    @Chuck Minnich, if there are two area codes covering the same geographical area, how would it know which area code to use?

  10. JUST ME on January 12th, 2020 1:03 pm

    I have Verizon on my cell and it is already forcing me to dial the 1+850 even on local calls if I don’t I get a recording out of service

  11. Chuck Minnich on January 12th, 2020 12:52 pm

    So isn’t the phone switching done by computers and no longer relays? So can’t some programmer add some logic that says if the number is only seven digits, append the area code of the dialing nimber to the front?

  12. Sharon Bernard on January 12th, 2020 11:10 am

    Living in Houston TX in the late 1990s, we also had to add an overlay Area Code, we had to start dialing 10 digits for all calls, and cell phone with programmable numbers were not prevalent back then. The additional area code was due to all the internet services being added. It’s not a big deal to dial 10 digits, you get used to it pretty quick!

  13. K on January 12th, 2020 10:28 am

    We survived the area switching from 904 to 850 we would survive an area doing it again .. I just think its ridiculous to intertwine the numbers where I could be using a long distance call to talk to someone inside my city or even on the same street. Yes it is a pain to change all the information especially for businesses but knowing in advance you can plan for it. Plus it help identify where a call is coming from. Just my opinion.

  14. sam on January 12th, 2020 10:21 am

    i will keep my landline and phone. it always works, voice quality is way better, my caller id shows up on the tv so i can avoid robo calls. can’t see why we need a new area code. thought most people gave up their landline.

  15. GM on January 12th, 2020 9:28 am

    10 digit dialing will be required 100% everywhere eventually. Already is in a lot of places.

  16. Anne on January 12th, 2020 9:19 am

    CELL Phones, usually, already utilize All 10 digits of a phone number.
    Usually, because when you key a number into your “Contacts” you should include the Area Code — the “1″ prefix is not needed.
    However, if you are using a corded phone then Yes, you will have to include the Area Code.
    Gotta go get that old Bell South from the shed for the kids to see.

  17. William Reynolds on January 12th, 2020 8:38 am

    “I think there may be a date error in the article. It states the permissive grace period ends in February 2021 and they don’t start assigning new numbers until March 2021.”

    Those dates are correct. You will be required to dial 10 digits a month before the first 448 number is out there.

  18. William Reynolds on January 12th, 2020 8:37 am

    ” all calls must be dialed using 10-digits. Does this include 850 area code when making local calls or just the new area code?”

    ALL calls means ALL calls.

  19. mat on January 12th, 2020 8:30 am

    What is that thing in the picture? Ha Ha.
    I remember using these in our house growing up.
    Oh how times and technology have changed.

  20. StraightShooter white on January 12th, 2020 8:26 am

    I wish they would split 850 area and give a portion of it the new area code like they did years ago when we had a 904 area code and went to 850. It will be a pain having to not just dial all 10 numbers but remembering others numbers and which area code.

  21. Anne on January 12th, 2020 7:36 am

    Okay, so one of the grands wandered by on way to the refrigerator and saw this posting.
    Stopped, looked over my shoulder and points to the photograph and asks, “What is that thing and why is it on an article about Area Codes?”
    First my thoughts tumbled around trying to understand how a genuine Bell South rotary telephone couldn’t be immediately recognized, then the realization they have not been commonly seen in MANY years (decades??).
    Have a few in the shed out back and will go out and bring one inside to show to them. Who;d ever have thought such a common thing would be now a museum piece?
    Of course, go to any of our markets and we are the ones saying, “I remember when mama had one of those in the kitchen”.

  22. Meredith Vincenza on January 12th, 2020 6:35 am

    I think there may be a date error in the article. It states the permissive grace period ends in February 2021 and they don’t start assigning new numbers until March 2021.

  23. liza on January 12th, 2020 6:31 am

    “After the permissive period ends on February 20, 2021, all calls must be dialed using 10-digits. Does this include 850 area code when making local calls or just the new area code?

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