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Area code 386 is an American telephone area code in northern Florida. It is one of the few area codes in North America which is not contiguous. Area code 904 lies in between the two portions of area code 386. The largest city in area code 386 is Deltona.
Area code 386 covers the entire area of the following counties: Columbia, Flagler, Hamilton, Lafayette, Suwannee, and Union. The vast majority of Volusia County with the exception of the unincorporated area of Osteen (Southwest Volusia County) area is covered as well. Daytona Beach and its suburbs are by far the most populated cities in 386. The northernmost part of Alachua County is also covered by this area code. Putnam County is split between three area codes: 386, 904, and 352.
As noted above, area code 386 is split into two noncontiguous sections. If one thinks of the area represented by the two portions of area code 386 and area code 904 as a figure somewhat resembling the numeral "7" (but with an obtuse, not acute, angle), then area code 386 is the left and bottom portions, while area code 904 is the right/top portion of the area. The left or north/west portion is immediately south of the Georgia border, east of the Tallahassee area, and west of the Jacksonville area. Lake City is near the center of this portion of the area code. The bottom or south/east portion of the area code is on the Atlantic coast south of the St. Augustine area and north of Brevard County.
Once the area became too large to be served by one area code, The Daytona Beach/Halifax Area Chamber of Commerce discovered that area code 386 was not assigned to any other territory. The numbers 386 spell out "FUN" on a phone keypad, and was a perfect device to promote the Fun Coast area. Other government officials and residents were recruited to lobby the Florida Public Service Commission to obtain this area code for the area.
Area code 386, which was put into service in July 2001, is one of a few examples of how rapid population growth (and explosive growth in unexpected areas) coupled with an increase in auxiliary devices (such as cell phones and pagers) has led to some unusual, unorthodox, and often controversial solutions to dividing up "full" Area codes.
When the current area code system was implemented in 1947, the entire state was in area code 305. In 1953, the southwestern part of the state became area code 813, while 305 continued to serve the rest of the state. In 1965, everything north of Orlando and the Space Coast was given area code 904. There remained three area codes in Florida until the mid-1980s, when Florida's explosive growth forced further divisions.
In 1997, the old 904 area code was split three ways. Most of the Florida Panhandle was split off to become area code 850, Gainesville and the Nature Coast became area code 352 while Jacksonville and Daytona Beach remained in area code 904. This was believed to be a long-term solution until the advent of cell phones, pagers, and other auxiliary devices caused the 904 area code to come close to exhaustion within only four years' time. This development, along with the rapid growth of both Jacksonville and Daytona Beach, made it obvious that the two cities would need to be in separate area codes. However, when plans were being drawn up for the split, it was discovered that the northwestern portion of the old 904 area code was too large to stay in 904, even though it was not growing as fast as the areas closer to Jacksonville. While this northwest portion of 904 was not nearly large enough for its own area code, the two area codes nearest to 904, 850 and 352, were growing too quickly to absorb this portion of 904. This left only three viable solutions – split the Jacksonville metro area, overlay 904 with a second code, or make two non-contiguous sections of a new area code. The Florida Public Service Commission, the body who oversees Area code development in Florida, opted for the third solution, and these two non-contiguous sections became area code 386. There were some on the commission who see the odd split in area code 386 as a temporary measure. However, under current projections, 386 will remain in its noncontiguous state beyond 2030. Despite the rapid growth of the Daytona Beach area, it is nowhere near exhausting.
When area code 386 was formed, DeBary and Deltona, which had been in 407, was switched from 407 to 386. In the interim permissive dialing period for DeBary, it was reachable in area codes 407 and 386 but never in area code 904.
|Florida area codes: 239, 305, 321, 352, 386, 407, 561, 727, 754, 772, 786, 813, 850, 863, 904, 941, 954|
|North: 229, 904, 912|
|West: 352, 850||area code 386||East: 904, Atlantic Ocean|
|South: 321/407, 352|
|Georgia area codes: 229, 404, 470, 478, 678, 706, 762, 770, 912|