Big annoyance or delight? The pros and cons of dialing a new area code in Palm Beach County

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Phone callers in Palm Beach County could start dialing a 772 area code to reach friends and family in the coming years, bringing with it some benefits and challenges.

The state this coming week will discuss bringing the new area code to Palm Beach County because the 561 area code is running out of numbers, according to a proposal filed with the state. If you currently have a 561 area code, you wouldn’t have to change it: This would affect people receiving new phone lines.

Here’s an early look at what we can expect from getting a new area code.

The best thing about this change is that it likely won’t cost anyone anything, experts say. There won’t be a premium associated with getting a new area code or switching numbers.

Those who associate Palm Beach County with 561, or who tend to want to keep things “old school,” may mistakenly keep dialing 561 instead of the new 772 area code.

The headaches associated with area code changes — including the hurdles from decades ago, when pagers and fax machines were common — have largely become a thing of the past.

One perk of having a cellphone is being able to store a phone number only once, without ever having to memorize a new 772 number.

Telecommunications companies and regulatory agencies also have ironed out most of the bugs associated with adding a new area code.

Miamians could vouch for the status symbol of having a 305 number — an emblem of hipness in Miami-Dade County — instead of a 786 number.

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Would some newcomers to Palm Beach County experience FOMO, or “fear of missing out,” from being deprived of a 561 area code? The social clout that some may associate from living in Palm Beach County could be lost, in their eyes, if they’re made to have a phone number others assume is from elsewhere.

One benefit, albeit a small one, is that when you share your 772 number in Palm Beach County, they’ll know you moved to the area recently.

The 561 area code began in 1996, and 772 was approved in 2002 for a different region. These days, the 772 code generally covers the Treasure Coast, including Fort Pierce, Hobe Sound, Jensen Beach, Port St. Lucie and other areas.

If approved, the changes for Palm Beach County likely would take effect as early as 2023.

Information from the News Service of Florida was used to supplement this report.

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