The Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) announced the assignment of 227 as a new area code, eventually serving the same geographic area in Maryland currently served by the 240 and 301 area codes. In August, the Commission approved a petition filed by the North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA), the neutral third-party entity that allocates telephone numbering resources.
Dwindling Supply of Existing 240/301 Phone Numbers
The 240/301 calling area serves residents and businesses in Allegany, Anne Arundel, Carroll, Charles, Frederick, Garrett, Montgomery, Prince George’s, St. Mary’s, and Washington counties. The remaining supply of available telephone numbers in the 240/301 area is estimated to be exhausted in the second quarter of 2023 – requiring the establishment of a new area code to support future demands in the region.
Customers with a 240 or 301 area code will maintain their existing area codes, and their phone numbers will not change.
According to the PSC:
No Changes Required for Dialing Calls
Because the 240/301 region is served by two overlay area codes, callers are already required to use 10-digit dialing when making calls. Callers in this area have been using 10-digit dialing for more than 20 years, since the 240 area code was introduced in 1997.
Because 10-digit dialing is already well established in this region, the eventual addition of the new 227 area code covering the same geographic area will not require any changes to the way area residents and businesses dial telephone calls – aside from using the new area code, when necessary.
According to the NANPA petition, the dialing plan for the area code will remain the same:
- Local calls to and from other numbers inside the 240/301/227 area: Dial 10-digits.
- Toll calls from the 240/301/227 area to numbers in another area code: Dial 1 + 10-Digits.
- Operator Services (credit card, collect, third party): Dial 0 + 10-Digits.
Prepare for 227 Area Code Arrival
While residents in the 240/301/227 area will continue to dial calls the same way they have for more than 20 years, the PSC urges consumers and businesses to be aware of the upcoming addition of a new area code.
Tips to prepare for the eventual start of the new 227 area code include:
- Checking devices to verify that area codes are included with all stored numbers.
- Continuing to program/save/store phone numbers to all devices using the full 10-digit telephone number.
- Verifying that all services and equipment – such as automatic dialers, life-safety & medical alert systems, alarm/security systems and security gates, call-forwarding settings and voicemail services – recognize the new area code as a valid phone number.
The PSC will continue to update consumers and businesses in the 240/301 region as the implementation of the new 227 area code draws closer.