771 area code now being used in DC region. Here's what customers need to know

A new area code is now being assigned to telephone customers in the Washington, D.C. region.

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The new 771 area code was put into service on November 9 after the D.C. Public Service Commission said projections showed the District would run out of new 202 phone numbers sometime in 2022.

The 202 area code has been in use since 1947. The North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA) says they will overlay the 771 area code over the entire geographic area of the 202 area code.

Here's what customers need to know about the new 771 area code:

- District residents should keep the following in mind with regard to the 771 area code overlay implementation:

- Your current telephone number, including current area code, will not change.

- If you plan to get a new phone number on and after November 9, 2021, you may be assigned a phone number with the 771 area code.

- You will need to start dialing the area code + telephone number for all local calls, including calls within the same area code.

- You will continue to dial 1 + area code + telephone number for all long distance calls.

- What is a local call now will remain a local call.

- The price of a call, coverage area, or other rates and services will not change due to the overlay.

How to prepare for the new area code:

Customers should ensure that all services, automatic dialing equipment, applications, software, or other types of equipment are reprogrammed to dial 10 digits if they are currently programmed to dial just 7 digits. Examples of these types of systems include life-safety systems, fax machines, Internet dial-up numbers, gates, ankle monitors, speed dialers, mobile phone contact lists, call forwarding settings, voicemail services, and similar functions.

Be sure to check your business stationery, advertising materials, personal checks, and your personal or pet ID tags to ensure the area code is included in your telephone number.

Important safety and security equipment, such as medical alert devices, and alarm and security systems must be programmed to use 10-digit dialing. Many systems operate on 10-digit dialing by default, but some older equipment may still use 7 digits.