Residents can prepare their devices for the new overlay through October 9.
With the announcement of the new 771 overlay last fall, the District of Columbia is making adjustments that may affect your home devices.
The DC Public Service Commission released details Monday outlining changes to dialing practices for those with the 202 area code. Starting October 9, residents will be required to dial a 10-digit phone number when placing local calls. This is a shift from the current practice that allows dialing the 7-digit number, or one's phone number without the area code.
Up until now, the District has kept the same area code in effect since the 1940s, but dwindling phone number options has made an additional area code necessary. It may take some time to get used to, which is why the city is rolling out a six-month adjustment period to let people acclimate to the new procedures. During the time frame, phone calls can be dialed using 7 or 10 digits. Afterward, 7-digit numbers will not be recognized.
But before transitioning over to the new area code, you'll need to make sure your devices are prepared to recognize the new number. These devices cover a wide array of categories, including but not limited to:
- ankle monitors
- fax machines
- life safety systems
- voicemail services
- mobile phone contact lists
Additionally, the agency suggests reviewing items like personal or pet IDs, business stationery, and checks to make sure they contain the full 10-digit phone number. While many devices and services automatically implement a 10-digit format, some may be outdated and require manual upgrades. The agency recommends contacting the relevant sources to ensure devices are properly equipped to dial 10-digit numbers.
New phone numbers will start being assigned the 771 code in November. If you have the 202 code now, don't worry about it changing—you would only get the new one if you changed your phone service.
Residents can start reprogramming their devices on April 10. For more information, check out the agency's statement here.
What do you think of the additional area code? Will you need to update your devices at all during the transition period? Sound off in the comments.