The days of 717 serving as the exclusive area code for Central Pennsylvania residents are coming to an end.

The state Public Utility Commission unanimously approved a plan Thursday to establish a new area code for the current 717 number planning area, according to a PUC news release.

The area includes all or parts of 16 Central Pennsylvania counties, including York County.

The plan, which is expected to be implemented in 2017, was submitted by Neustar Inc., the numbering plan administrator for the state, because the supply of available 717 phone numbers is projected to be exhausted by the third quarter of 2017.

Commission spokesman Nils Hagen-Frederiksen said the approved plan will now be sent to Neustar, which will generate a new area code to be used in the area.

The plan calls for the telecommunications industry to complete all necessary network preparations by March 1, 2017, and outreach to consumers, centering on the transition to 10-digit dialing, will begin once the commission determines that there is a three-month supply of 717 numbers remaining.

The PUC will receive monthly updates on the supply of numbers available, Hagen-Frederiksen said.

When only a one-month supply remains, the new area code will be activated and the full transition implemented over a nine-month period.

The overlay is projected to extend the region's supply of telephone numbers for approximately 67 years, according to the release.

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