Beginning September 18, 2015, all local calls made within the South Carolina 843 area code must be placed using the 10-digit telephone number (area code plus the 7-digit telephone number).
To ensure a continuing supply of telephone numbers, a new 854 area code will be added to the 843 area code region which generally covers the South Carolina coastal counties serving the communities of Charleston, Hilton Head Island, Myrtle Beach and Florence. The South Carolina Public Service Commission ordered an Area Code Overlay for the area served by 843. The new 854 area code will be “overlaid” or superimposed over the same geographical area as the 843 Area Code.
Residential and business customers within the existing (843) area code should be prepared for the introduction of the new 854 area code. Beginning October 19, 2015, customers in the 843 area code region requesting new service, an additional line, or in some cases, moving their service may be assigned a number in the new 854 area code.
The dialing change paves the way for the addition of the new 854 area code. So, beginning September 18, 2015, all local calls must be placed using the 10-digit telephone number (area code plus the 7-digit local telephone number). Callers must also use the new dialing procedure for local calls in the new 854 area code.
The most important facts that consumers and businesses need to know about the upcoming 843 area code overlay are:
- Your telephone number, including current area code, will not change.
- You will need to dial area code + telephone number for all local calls.
- You will continue to dial 1+ area code + telephone 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.
- You can still dial just three digits to reach 911.
- If 211, 311, 411, 511, 611, 711 or 811 are currently available in your community, you will still dial these codes with just three digits.
Customers should identify their telephone number as a ten digit number (area code + 7-digit telephone number), and include the area code when giving the number to their friends, family, business associates and customers, etc.
Customers should ensure that all services, automatic dialing equipment, applications, software, or other types of equipment that are programmed to dial a 7-digit number have been reprogrammed to use the new dialing procedure and recognize the new 854 area code as a valid area code. Some examples are life safety systems or medical devices, PBXs, fax machines, Internet dial-up numbers, alarm and security systems, gates, speed dialers, mobile phone contact lists, call forwarding settings, voicemail services, and similar functions.Be sure to check your website, business stationery, advertising materials, personal and business checks, contact information, and your personal or pet ID tags to ensure the area code is included. Remember that all local calls must be programmed using 10-digits and you need to add “1” for all long distance calls.
For more information, please visit the following websites: www.shtc.net or www.regulatorystaff.sc.gov. If customers have any questions regarding information provided in this release, please call Sandhill Telephone Cooperative at (843) 658-3434.