The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission voted today to split up the (814) area code. This area code, which covers from Erie County to the Maryland border, is running out of phone numbers.
The PUC considered three proposals on how to divide up this massive swath of Pennsylvania. Of the four original Pennsylvania area codes established in 1947, (814) was the last area code to remain unchanged.
Below is as link to the PA PUC website showing the county split. The new area code number has yet to be determined.
Were the PUC on crack or something today? It is the worst possible plan, especially if you live in NW Pennsylvania. Now they will have to all change their phone numbers and there will be a huge burden on businesses in the northwest region (especially in this economic climate) to change all their advertising, business cards, billboards, etc. to reflect the new area code (I am guessing that will be 582). Such is not necessary with an overlay, and there are no winners and losers with that either. Not to mention it is expensive for phone companies to change all their equipment to reflect the new area code.
It would have made much more sense to overlay 814, despite the fact it is a very large area. Other jurisdictions have been overlaying large rural areas (or entire states), and there is precedence there with the 570/272 overlay. The only impact there is 10-digit dialing, and that will be required anyway for calls that cross the line (actually 11-digit dialing I believe!) with the split. Hopefully they revise the plan, although I am sure industry and Erie-area businesses will not be happy when they hear that.
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