A new 445 area code will be added to Philadelphia and surrounding regions, including parts of the Greater Lehigh Valley, to expand the number of telephone numbers, which are nearly depleted, according to the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission.
Beginning March 3, the new 445 area code will be added to the area served by the 215 and 267 area codes, including parts of Berks, Bucks, Lehigh and Montgomery counties.
Customers in the regions with 215 and 267 area code who request new service, an additional line or, in some cases, to move their service, may be assigned a number for their landline or mobile phone in the new 445 area code, according to Verizon
Customers’ existing telephone numbers, including their area code, won’t change. The new code won’t affect rates, the company said.
“First and foremost, consumers across the Philadelphia region should understand the activation of this new area code will not change the way they dial calls or result in any changes to their service – local calls under your current calling plan will remain local calls,” PUC Chairman Gladys M. Brown said.
Last year, the state added a 223 overlay to the 717 region.
A petition to implement the 445 code overlay was submitted to the North American Numbering Plan Administrator in August 2016 and approved by the PUC three months later.
The PUC offered the following tips to prepare for the start of the new 445 area code:
• Check your devices to verify that area codes are included with all stored numbers.
• Continue to program/save/store phone numbers to all devices using the full 10-digit telephone number.
• Verify that all services and equipment – such as automatic dialers, life safety and medical alert systems, alarm/security systems and security gates, call-forwarding settings and voice mail services – recognize the new area code as a valid phone number.