Washington, DC is known for many features, like the White House, its museums and galleries, and area code 202.
However, the iconic 202 area code is projected to run out of new numbers sometime around August next year. To relieve its role as sole area code for the District since 1947, the North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA) assigned a new area code to the Washington, DC region: 771.
The Public Service Commission of the District of Columbia (PSCDC) approved a 13-month implementation proposed by NANPA. This will help residents transition to the new digits.
All existing customers with a 202 area code will retain it and do not have to change phone numbers. However, customers making wireline or wireless phone calls in DC will need to dial the 202 or 771 area code, followed by the local telephone number, instead of the current seven-digit local number.
Expanding the List of New Numbers
Willie Philips, chairman of the PSCDC, clarified that the 202 area code will not be removed.
“The 202 area code has been part of DC culture for over 50 years and it is not going away. However, we stand ready to assist in a smooth transition to the added 771 area code,” he said.
The 13-month plan for implementing 771 will consist of three stages. The first stage involves six months of network preparation. During the second stage, customer education is a priority and residents will be allowed to use seven-digit and ten-digit dialing within the 202 area code.
The third stage, which will only take one month, will make ten-digit dialing mandatory. Any new local telephone numbers will start with the new 771 area code.