Starting Saturday, callers in Pennsylvania’s 814-area code need to dial 10 digits, not just seven, as the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission gets ready to add a second area code to the region.
Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission press secretary Nils Hagen-Frederiksen said 814 is one of the original Pennsylvania area codes established in 1947. It’s the only region that hasn’t already gotten another area code added to it, and it stretches from Johnstown to State College to Erie.
“It’s had a good run, but realistically we’re getting down to the bottom of the barrel in terms of available phone numbers," Hagen-Frederiksen said.
Apparently, all those newfangled devices — cell phones, tablets, wifi hotspots — are eating up phone numbers.
Rather than splitting the region into two separate areas, the PUC is adding an "overlay" area code. When all the 814 numbers are gone, new lines will get 582 as their area code. That could happen as early as May 1.
Hagen-Frederiksen said they’re urging residents and businesses to make sure devices — including security systems and medical alerts — are programmed to include area codes.
The change will not affect 911 calls.