The Tampa Bay area has been growing exponentially over the past decade and that trend is set to continue. Zillow recently named Tampa the hottest housing market for 2022 and the growth shows no signs of slowing down. While that growth is easy to see with the opening of new apartment complexes and the extension of old roads, it also affects other things like the number of phone numbers.
The new Tampa Bay area code is 656. After February 21st, new numbers activated in Tampa now have a chance to start with 656 rather than 813.
Tampa has long had the area code 813 for number originating in the region but that set of digits is beginning to run out. As more people move to Tampa and cell phone use continues to be a part of life for every American, the finite number of 813 phone numbers is running out. Starting on January 22nd, a new area code is being phased in that is going to overlap with the old 813 area code and the new numbers will officially go live after February 21st.
Businesses can request a new 656 number starting on January 22nd if they so desire.
This change means that all numbers dialed in Tampa will have to be a full ten digits. Before, if you were in the 813 geographic area you could dial a seven digit number and it would default to the 813 area code. But that is no longer the case.
This is a natural part of an area experiencing growth. There are only so many numbers that can start with 813 without repeating. Experts claim that the new 656 area code will have enough combinations to sustain the area for the next 37 years.
This change will not affect anyone that currently has an 813 phone number other than requiring the ten digit dialing across the area. Anyone who put seven digit phone numbers into their phones when it was recognized will need to update their contacts to ensure that each one has the correct preface.
According to All Area Codes, the 813 number covered Tampa, Brandon, Town 'n' Country, and Riverview. Up until 2022, it was the only area code that originated and served this area. Now, the region will include both 813 and 656.
A similar split happened in Jacksonville 20 years ago when the traditional 904 area code was split into the new 386 area code.