New area code overlay coming to Florida Panhandle in 2021

Monday 09/21/2020

Get ready to change how you dial local calls.

The Florida Panhandle will soon have two area codes. The current 850 area code is forecast to run out of available phone numbers in late 2021, at which time phone companies will introduce a new 448 area code for new phone numbers issued in the region to alleviate the number crunch (see map).

As a result, starting February 20, 2021, you will need to start dialing the full 10-digit number—area code and all—for local and long-distance calls. However, this change will not affect internal FSU calls; you can still dial 5-digit numbers for internal calls if you are dialing from an FSU number.

To get used to the change, you are encouraged to start dialing phone numbers using the full, 10-digit number.

FSU employees should also update their email signatures and call forwarding numbers to include 10-digits. FSU departments should update department webpages as necessary and reprogram any auto-dials, such as burglar or fire alarms, with the 10-digit number.

And don’t worry, existing 850 phone numbers will not change and will retain the 850 area code.

For more information about the new 448 area code overlay, see this Tallahassee Democrat article.