By Team

TALLHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – State regulators should sign off on creating an additional area code in Palm Beach County, as the 561 area code is in danger of running out of numbers, according to a recommendation by staff members of the Florida Public Service Commission.

The North American Numbering Plan Administrator, an agency that oversees area codes, filed a proposal with the commission in October to approve what is known as an “overlay,” which means a new area code would cover the same territory as the 561 area code.

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New phone customers would receive the new area code, while existing customers would continue to use the 561 area code.

With the commission slated to take up the issue Dec. 7, its staff last week recommended approval of the new area code.

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The proposal came after the commission during the past three years has approved new area codes for Central Florida, Northwest Florida and the Tampa Bay region amid concerns about long-established area codes running out of numbers.

The state’s telecommunications industry has undergone massive changes during the past two decades as residents have unplugged traditional phone lines and moved heavily to cell phones and technology such as internet-based calling.

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