Counting down to 324

Counting down to 324

Jacksonville will soon welcome a new member into its community: area code 324. Last month, the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) announced the implementation of this new area code overlay.

The National American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA), the entity which governs all telephone numbers in the United States, first called for the need for a 904 area code relief plan in October 2021. In May, the PSC approved such a plan after forecasting all remaining 904 numbers would be assigned by 2024.  Once that occurs, all new telephone numbers will be assigned 324 area code. As a result, all digits — area code and the seven-digit phone number — will be required when placing phone calls.

In a press release the PSC said this new area code overlay covers the “same geographical boundaries as 904.” This includes Jacksonville, Jacksonville Beach, Orange Park, Fernandina Beach and “surrounding communities.”

“As Florida’s 4th originally assigned area code, the 904 area code has a long history of adapting to Florida’s growth,” said PSC Chairman Andrew Fay in the press release. “This approved relief was the first of its kind for Jacksonville as the 324 area code overlay is designed to meet the increased demand for new numbers in this thriving area.”

According to the PSC’s “Area Code Frequently Asked Questions” page, there are nearly 8 million telephone numbers in a given area code for residential and business customers and “area code exhaustion” is reached once “nearly” all those numbers have been distributed to telephone service providers.

The use of area codes dates back to the 1947 and AT&T’s creation of the North American Numbering Plan (NANP). Implementation of the plan began in 1951. Today, the NANP serves 20 North American countries. There were originally 86 area codes between the United States and Canada. Florida’s first area code was 305. Today, Florida has more than 20 area codes, including overlays. 904 has been northeastern Florida’s area code since 1965.

By Michele Leivas
Resident Community News

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