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New 656 area code for Hillsborough County goes into effect today


As more and more people continue moving to Florida, resources are being spread thinner and thinner. One of those resources: telephone numbers. There are too many people to accommodate with the standard 813 area code.

In response to the-ever growing population, the Florida Public Service Commission is launching a new area code, 656, for Tampa as well as other Hillsborough County communities like Brandon, Land O’ Lakes, Plant City, Oldsmar, Riverview, Thonotosassa, Valrico and Zephyrhills for new phone customers.

Palm Beach County will also be adding a new 728 area code as the 561 area code will no longer be available for new users.

The new 656 area code will also come with some restrictions.

“Since these are new residents, they shouldn’t get to enjoy the same amenities that natives and long-time residents do… and they won’t!”, said Florida Public Service Commission spokesperson Susan Throbbins.

For example, 656 area coders will not have access to the following:

  • Lower level seats for events held at Raymond James Stadium and Amalie Arena
  • Chicken Tenders Subs from Publix
  • Gasparilla beads
  • Telephone calls or text messages, sometimes, just because
  • Any shopping at all at any of the “good” Publix’s
  • Driving around for any reason in the neighborhoods south of Kennedy Blvd., north of Gandy and east of Dale Mabry between the hours of 6pm and 7am.
  • Any shopping at ANY Publix. Go shop for your top ramen and boxed wine at Winn Dixie, 656 swine
  • They will have full access to all the tickets to any USF athletic events they want, though

More good stuff is expected to be put off limits as they think of it, said Ms. Throbbins.

Beyond the new restrictions, some locals see additional positive aspects of this development…

“I’m like Ludacris; I pride myself on having hoes in different area codes”, said local playa Fafreen Mintjulep. “Now I can have that with hoes that live in the same neighborhood! This should help me save a lot of money on gas.”

Clark Brooks

About Clark Brooks

Senior Supreme Executive Premium Content Editor for Tampa News Force. Comedian, writer and ordained minister. Twitter: @ClarkBrooks | Instagram:@ClarkBrooks54