State regulators have started the process to not only introduce a new area code to South Jersey but to also require ten-digit dialing in our region.

The 609 area code, which has been a part of South Jersey's identity for decades, is running out of available phone numbers -- in fact, it's likely that there will be no new 609 phone numbers by the fall of 2018. With that in mind, the Board of Public Utilities has started discussing overlaying a new area code on top of 609.

What is an overlaying area code? Simple: the new area code would share the existing coverage area of the 609 area code, so our region would have two area codes. That overlay, however, means everyone in South Jersey would need to dial ten digits to make a call, even to the same area code.

The last time South Jersey got a new area code was the summer of 1999. That's when 856 took over the southwestern part of the state, leaving 609 stretching from the Trenton area down to Cape May.



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