TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – State regulators are expected May 3 to take up a proposal about adding a new area code in Northeast Florida, with public comments being accepted through April 26.
With the 904 area code close to running out of numbers, staff members of the Florida Public Service Commission outlined different options for a new area code during a workshop Wednesday.
READ: 904 Area Code Fact Sheet
The PSC will accept emailed comments at firstname.lastname@example.org and mailed comments at Florida Public Service Commission Office of Commission Clerk, 2540 Shumard Oak Boulevard, Tallahassee, FL 32399-0850. Please be sure to include Docket Number 20220036-TP in your comments. If you have questions, contact the PSC’s Office of Consumer Assistance & Outreach at 1-800-342-3552.
The telecommunications industry has recommended implementing an “overlay” in which a new area code would be added to the same territory covered by the 904 area code. Current customers would keep their 904 numbers, but new customers would get the new code.
Also, all local dialing would use 10 digits. According to commission staff members, the 904 area code will exhaust its supply of available numbers by the third quarter of 2024 based on the current rate of demand. Once the method for the new code is approved, changes are expected to be carried out over a 13-month period.
The proposal is the latest in a series of similar moves as phone numbers get gobbled up across the state. The Public Service Commission on Feb. 1 approved an additional area code for Miami-Dade County and the Florida Keys because of the projected exhaustion of numbers in the 305 and 786 area codes. The commission said the new South Florida area code will be 645.
“As Miami-Dade and the Florida Keys continue to attract new residents from all across our country and around the world, the new 645 area code will ensure that the demand for new lines is met,” commission Chairman Andrew Fay said in a prepared statement.
The utility regulatory commission in December approved a new area code in Palm Beach County and in recent years approved new codes in Central Florida, Northwest Florida and the Tampa Bay region.
The 904 area code has been used since 1965 and includes communities such as Jacksonville, St. Augustine, Fernandina Beach, Orange Park, Macclenny and Starke.
It originally covered a much larger swath of North Florida, but it was split over the years into new area codes as supplies of numbers dwindled. Those splits involved creating the 352, 850 and 386 area codes.