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Economy / Business

The Tampa Bay area will soon have a new 656 area code and 10-digit dialing

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Ten-digit dialing begins for all local calls in the Tampa Bay area on Jan. 22 in connection with a new 656 area code.

The 10-digit dialing begins on Jan. 22, and a new 656 area code goes into effect in February with the 813 area code running out of numbers.

Ten-digit dialing begins for all local calls in the Tampa Bay area on Jan. 22 in connection with a new 656 area code, the Florida Public Service Commission announced Wednesday.

The new area code will be used in the same communities as the 813 area code, which is running out of numbers.

People with the longstanding 813 area code will be able to keep their numbers, while new customers or those adding services will be assigned the 656 area code as of Feb. 21.

The 813 region is centered on Tampa and includes surrounding communities such as Brandon, Land O' Lakes, Oldsmar, Riverview, Thonotosassa, Town 'n' Country, Valrico and Zephyrhills.

With the addition of the new area code, the region isn’t expected to need another area code for 37 years.

Demand for new telephone numbers has grown across the state as the population and the use of cell phones and other technology has increased.

Last week, the commission announced Palm Beach County will receive a 728 area code for new numbers as the 561 area code runs out.

The commission is expected Feb. 1 to take up a proposal to create an additional area code to relieve the 305 and 786 area codes in Miami-Dade County and the Florida Keys.