Area code overlay approved for the Pennsylvania 717 area code

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Residential, business and wireless customers within the existing 717 area code should prepare for the introduction of 10-digit dialing and the new 223 area code.

To ensure a continuing supply of telephone numbers, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission has ordered an area code overlay for the geographic area served by 717. The new 223 area code will be “overlaid” or superimposed over the same geographical area as the 717 area code which generally covers the south-central portion of the state and serves communities such Gettysburg, Harrisburg, Lancaster, Lebanon, and York. The overlay does not require customers to change their numbers, but does require that they dial the area code and seven-digit number for all local calls, including calls within the same area code. Beginning September 26, 2017, customers in the 717 area code region requesting new service, an additional line, or in some cases, moving their service may be assigned a number in the new 223 area code.

Beginning March 4, 2017, customers may place a local call by dialing either seven digits or by dialing 10 digits (area code + seven-digits), but should start to make dialing 10 digits a habit. Beginning August 26, 2017 all local calls must be placed using the 10-digit telephone number (717 or 223 plus the seven-digit telephone number), and seven-digit calls will route to an announcement instructing the caller to dial again using the area code.

The most important facts that consumers and businesses need to know about the area code overlay are:

  • Your telephone number, including current area code, will not change.
  • Beginning August 26, 2017, you will need to dial area code + telephone number for all local calls, including calls within the same area code.  
  • You will continue to dial 1+ area code + telephone number for all long distance calls.
  • What is a local call now will remain a local call.  
  • The price of a call, coverage area, or other rates and services will not change due to the overlay.
  • You can still dial just three digits to reach 911.
  • 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.

Customers should identify their telephone number as a 10 digit number (area code + seven-digit telephone number), and include the area code when giving the number to their friends, family, business associates, business customers, and others.

To prepare for the overlay, customers should ensure that all services, automatic dialing equipment, applications, software, or other types of equipment that are programmed to dial just seven-digits within the 717 area code are re-programmed to dial the area code + seven-digit telephone number. Some examples are life safety systems and medical monitoring devices, fax machines, Internet dial-up numbers, alarm and security systems and gates, speed dialers, mobile and cordless phone contact lists, text alert services, call forwarding settings, voicemail services, and similar functions. Customers should also ensure that such services and equipment recognize the new 223 area code as a valid area code.

Check items such as websites, business or personal stationery, advertising materials, business or personal checks, and personal or pet ID tags to ensure the area code is included in the telephone number. 

Learn more about your area code information, and the introduction of the new 717 area code, or visit the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission’s website. If Verizon wireline customers have questions they should call 1-800 VERIZON (837-4966); Verizon Wireless customers should call 1-800-922-0204.

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