PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Look out 412 and 724, another area code is being added to the Pittsburgh region.

With those two area code numbers rapidly being used up, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission says the numbers 878 will be making their debut as Western Pennsylvania’s newest area code in the not too distant future.

The 724 area code covers some or all of 14 counties in our region, and that’s the area where customers will be most impacted by the 878 area code.

KDKA’s Ralph Iannotti Reports:

The new area code, however, will not change any existing numbers.

Only new phones and new phone numbers will have the 878 area code, so people with existing 724 area codes who have to add a new line could end up with an 878 number.

The PUC says it signed off on the new area code a decade ago, but had never needed until now.

“The industry has been prepared for the activation of the 878 area code for more than a decade,” said Lee Gierczynski, of Verizon. “And if you go back to 2001, there were studies that showed that the 412 and 724 area codes were going to run out of numbers, so that’s why they introduced the 878 area code.”

People that KDKA talked to in Cranberry Township Friday night had mixed reaction.

Most said they could live with the new number. But one man from Ellwood City predicted chaos when the new code is up and running, which may be put into effect as early as this spring.

KDKA’s John Shumway Reports:

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