Residential and business customers within the existing 843 area code should be prepared for the introduction of a new 854 area code. FTC announced today that beginning Oct. 19, customers in the 843 area code region requesting new service, an additional line, or in some cases moving their service, could be assigned a number in the new 854 area code.
To ensure a continuing supply of telephone numbers, the 854 area code will be added to the 843 area code region, which generally covers the Coastal counties and principally serves the communities of Charleston, Hilton Head Island, Myrtle Beach and Florence. In the FTC service area, customers in Williamsburg and lower Florence counties as well as the north sector of Clarendon County east of Interstate 95 will be affected.
As part of this process, all FTC customers, including those in the 803 area code region, will be required to utilize 10-digit dialing to complete a local call. Beginning March 14, the new 10-digit (area code plus seven digits) dialing will be initiated, but if a caller dials seven digits, the call will go through. The option to place local calls using seven digits will end Sept. 18. On. Sept. 19, all local calls must be placed using the 10-digit number.
The most important facts consumers and businesses need to know about the upcoming 854 area code overlay are:
- Existing phone numbers, including current area code, will not change.
- Callers will need to dial area code plus phone number for all local calls.
- Callers will continue to dial 1 plus area code plus phone 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.
- Callers can still dial just three digits to reach 911.
Customers should identify their telephone number as a 10-digit number when giving the number to their friends, family, business associates and business customers.
They should also ensure that all services, automatic dialing equipment, applications, software, or other types of equipment recognize the new 854 area code as valid and convert to the 10-digit dialing scheme. Some examples are life safety systems, fax machines, Internet dial-up numbers, alarm and security systems, gates, speed dialers, phone system speed dial or contact lists, call forwarding settings, voicemail services and similar functions. If these devices or services have automatic dialing to a local number, they will need to be re-programmed for 10-digit dialing.
FTC wants to also remind its customers in both the 843 and 803 area code regions to check their business stationery, advertising materials, personal checks and personal or pet ID tags to ensure the area code is included in their telephone number.
For more information, please visit the following websites: www.ftc-i.netorwww.regulatorystaff.sc.gov.If customers have any questions regarding information provided in this release, please call FTC at 888-218-5050.