10-digit local dialing is coming to 850 area code in Florida Panhandle
All residential and business consumers in the Florida Panhandle's (850) area code can now dial 10-digits (area code + the 7-digit telephone number) when making local calls. Beginning Feb. 20, 2021, everyone in the (850) area code will be required to dial 10-digits.
TDS Telecom (TDS®) is alerting its customers of the change.
The Florida Public Service Commission ordered an Area Code Overlay for the (850) Area Code on Nov. 5, 2019. This will impact TDS customers in the communities of Quincy, Greensboro and Gretna, all located in the Florida Panhandle.
A new (448) area code will be added and share the same region as the existing (850) area code. When two area codes serve the same region, the Federal Communications Commission requires callers to change the way they dial local calls. While customers do not have to change their existing area code or phone number, they will be required to make 10-digit dialing for all local calls.
Important information for residents and businesses:
· Existing phone numbers in the (850) area code will not change.
· The price for calls, local and long-distance calling areas, and other rates and services provided by TDS will not change due to the new Area Code Overlay. A local call now remains a local call, regardless of the number of digits dialed.
· The dialing procedure for long distance or operator assisted calls will not change.
· If 211, 311, 411, 511, 611, 711 or 811 are currently available in your community, you will still dial these codes with just three digits.
Dates to keep in mind:
Customers should now begin using the new dialing procedures whenever placing a call from the (850) area code. If customers forget and dial just seven digits, calls will still be completed.
Beginning Feb. 20, 2021, customers must use the new dialing procedures, as described above for all calls. After this date, seven-digit calls will not be completed, and a recording will instruct you to hang up and dial again.
Beginning March 20, 2021, any new telephone lines or services may be assigned numbers using the new (448) area code.
In addition to changing dialing procedures, customers are encouraged to begin reprogramming automatic dialing equipment and other devices now programmed with seven digits. Residents and businesses should check with security or alarm companies to make sure their systems are programmed to handle the new dialing pattern.
Products to consider include: life safety systems, VoIP and Private Branch Exchange (PBX) systems, electronic telephone sets, auto-dial systems, multi-line key systems, fax machines, internet dial-up numbers, alarm and security systems, gates, speed dialers, call forwarding settings, and voicemail services. All such devices should now be reprogrammed with 10-digits.
Residents and businesses should also check their business stationery or advertising materials to ensure the area code is included.
If you have any questions regarding any information provided in this notice, call 1-888-CALL-TDS or visit www.tdstelecom.com. Consumers can also Florida Public Service Commission website at http://www.psc.state.fl.us/Home/.