Just when some of us in Miami-Dade and the Keys have gotten used to the 786 area code 25 years after its inception — except for Mr. 305, of course — comes a new area code to train our fingers to program into our smartphones.
Starting Friday, Aug. 4, customers may be assigned a phone number with the 645 area code when requesting new service, an additional line, or in some cases, moving their service, the Florida Public Service Commission announced on Friday. The 645 area code was approved in 2022 when it became clear the growing regions, along with proliferation of population, mobile devices and other technologies meant numbers were running out.
This was the reason the 786 area code, or “overlay” in telecommunications parlance, was added to join 305 in July 1998 in Miami-Dade. The 305 area code existed alone since its creation in 1947.
The new 645 area code, which will co-exist throughout Miami-Dade and the Keys with the 305 and 786 area codes, was first proposed way back in August 2000, when the commission noted that 786 numbers could run out amid “the relentless march of telephone technology,” the Miami Herald reported at the time of beepers or pagers and fax machines in an age before the iPhone.
Now that the new area code joins the other seven numbers you no longer have to memorize since smartphones let you say, “Call Mom!”
Here’s some of what you need to know.
WHO IS GETTING THE 645?
Miami-Dade and Monroe County telephone customers in the 305/786 region who request a new number may be assigned the 645. You may be requesting a new number because you bought yet another device or you want to change your 305 or 786 numbers because you’re getting too many spam calls at your current number or you’re in the witness protection program and you don’t want your ex pinging your 305 or 786 digits.
WHY ARE WE GETTING A NEW AREA CODE?
There’s a new area code simply “Because all of the phone numbers in the 305 area code, and most of the phone numbers in the 786 area code, have been assigned to communication carriers,” Gregory Fogleman, a public utilities supervisor with the commission, said in an email response to Miami Herald queries.
“In this case, it was decided by the commission that an area code overlay be implemented in order to insure that consumers seeking service from carriers continue to have numbering resources available to them,” he said.
WILL YOUR PHONE NUMBER CHANGE?
Customers’ telephone numbers, including area code, will not change.
WILL YOUR PHONE BILL GO UP?
No, your phone bill will not go up. Not because of the new area code, anyway. The area code implementation doesn’t change the price of a call, the service area, or other rates and services, according to the commission.
CAN YOU STILL BE ASSIGNED A 305 IF YOU’RE NOT PITBULL FAMOUS?
Fogleman said he could not provide specifics regarding how many phone numbers are available to consumers because the commission doesn’t track that information. But he knows this: “All of the numbers in 305 have been assigned to carriers. Phone numbers are returned back to carriers periodically as customers cancel service. Thus, a carrier may have some phone numbers with the 305 area code available.
The North American Number Plan Administrator alerts the Public Service Commission when it forecasts the pending exhaust of an area code, he explained. “NANPA projects the exhaust for the 786 area code to be in the fourth quarter of 2023, which is why there is a need for the new 645 area code.”
CAN A USER REQUEST NOT TO HAVE THE NEW 645?
Maybe you’ve moved to the Keys from Boise because you are so envious of the Jimmy Buffett lifestyle you’ve heard about from Parrotheads for the last 50 years you’ve just gotta have a 305 or 786 on your bedazzled iPhone. Can you ask for a particular area code — 305, 786, 645 — or do you have to take what’s assigned?
“There’s nothing prohibiting a customer from asking, but if the company doesn’t have a number with the area code the customer is requesting, they will have to take the number that’s assigned,” Fogleman said.
Residents can also contact their local telephone carrier or call the Public Service Commission’s customer assistance line at 800-342-3552.