Jacksonville area soon to be the 324 and the 904

In two years Jacksonville will have a new area code, 324. The change will also impact people in Fernandina Beach and Orange Park, showing how much growth has taken place in this area.

New Northeast Florida phone numbers in the future will start with a 324 area code.

With numbers using the longstanding 904 area code expected to run out in 2024, the Florida Public Service Commission on Tuesday announced the additional 324 area code for communities such as Jacksonville, Fernandina Beach and Orange Park.

The new area code will be assigned in the same territory as the 904 area code — what is known in the telecommunications industry as an “overlay.”

People already using the 904 area code will keep their numbers. No date was set for when customers will start to get the new area code, a commission spokeswoman said.

A commission staff analysis said the change is expected to be carried out over a 13-month period, with the first six months needed to prepare telecommunications networks.

Shirley Turner has lived in Jacksonville for three decades. She witnessed the area’s growth and changes firsthand and has mixed feelings about the change.

“I don’t know it’s just it’s changing to the point where I don’t like it”, Turner said. “It’s not as comfortable as it used to be. I’m a little disappointed in what’s happening.”

Others are looking at the additional area code as a sign that the city and surrounding areas are moving in the right direction.

“This is for years has been the boldest city of the south, and we have wondered for years when it would come into fruition, and it seems like it’s doing just that,” Tamara Roper said.

In the last 10 years, the U.S. Census reports that the city’s population grew by nearly 130,000. By 2024, the longstanding 904 area code is expected to run out of phone number combinations.

The commission approved adding a new Northeast Florida area code in early May but did not designate the new number at the time. The change will require all local calls to use 10-digit dialing -- the area code plus the seven-digit phone number.

As a result of Florida’s population growth and the proliferation of telecommunication services, Florida will have 23 area codes with the latest addition.

The commission recently also has approved additional area codes for Palm Beach County and for Miami-Dade and Monroe counties.