The Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) announced yesterday that area code 227 will eventually serve the same geographical region as area codes 240 and 301 in Maryland.
A petition filed by the North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA), the neutral third-party entity that allocates telephone numbering resources, was approved by the Commission in August.
The 240/301 calling area covers Allegany, Charles, Garrett, Montgomery, Prince George’s, St. Mary’s, and Washington counties. Additionally, Frederick, Howard, Carroll, and Anne Arundel counties are affected.
To meet future demand in the region, a new area code is expected to be needed to support the remaining supply of available telephone numbers in the 240/301 area. This is expected to be by the second quarter of 2023, according to a press release. Customers with a 240 or 301 area code will maintain their existing area codes, and their phone numbers will not change.
According to the implementation plan approved by the PSC, no new 227 numbers will be assigned until the remaining 240/301 numbers have been exhausted. All future phone number assignments will be made in the upcoming 227 area code once the remaining 240/301 numbers have been exhausted.
Since the 240/301 region is served by two overlay area codes, callers are already required to use 10-digit dialing. Since 1997, when the 240 area code was introduced, calls have been made using 10-digit dialing.
Due to the widespread use of 10-digit dialing in this region, the addition of the newly-created 227 area code covering the same geographical area will not result in any changes in the way residents and businesses make telephone calls — except when necessary, to use the new area code.
The NANPA petition states that the dialing plan for the area code will remain the same:
- Dial ten digits when calling other numbers within the 240/301/227 area code.
- In order to make a toll call from the 240/301/227 area code to another area code, dial 1 + 10-digits.
- Dial 0 + 10-digits for Operator Services (credit card, collect, third party).
Residents in the 240/301/227 area will continue to dial calls the same way they have for more than 20 years, but the PSC advises consumers and businesses to be aware of the upcoming addition of a new area code.
To prepare for the eventual start of the upcoming 227 area code, the following tips are recommended:
- Verify that area codes are included with all stored numbers by checking devices.
- Ensure that all devices are programmed, saved, and stored with the full ten-digit telephone number format.
- Verify that all equipment and services such as automatic dialers, life safety systems, call-forwarding settings, medical alert systems, alarm/security systems, and voicemail systems – all recognize the newly assigned area code as a valid phone number.
As the implementation of the new 227 area code approaches, the PSC continues to provide updates to consumers and businesses in the 240/301 area.
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— Maryland PSC (@MarylandPSC) September 28, 2022