(UNDATED) - If you live in Indiana's 812 telephone area code and have not started using ten digits, rather than seven, to make local phone calls (for example, "812-555-5555" instead of "555-5555"), now is the time to get in the habit.
The "permissive dialing" or grace period in which local calls made with either seven or ten digits will work is more than halfway complete. The six-month transition period is designed to give consumers ample time to adjust to the changes.
Starting September 6, 2014, consumers with 812 telephone numbers will be required to use ten-digit dialing for all local calls. If you forget and do not use the new dialing procedures after that date, your call will not be completed and a recording will instruct you to hang up and dial again.
The change in dialing patterns is necessary for the introduction of the new 930 area code, which will be implemented this fall. The new code is being added through the "overlay" method, which has been used for all new area code additions in the United States since 2008.
An overlay is the addition of another area code (930) to the same geographic region as an existing area code (812). An overlay does not require customers to change their existing phone numbers.
The new area code is being implemented due to projections that all numbering supplies for 812 will be exhausted in 2015. To ensure a continuing supply of telephone numbers, the new 930 area code will be added to (or superimposed over) the entire 812 region which has covered southern, south-central, and parts of west-central Indiana since 1947, including Bloomington, Columbus, Evansville, New Albany, Terre Haute, and other cities. The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) ordered the overlay in July 2013, following a year-long case. The proceeding included numerous opportunities for public input and testimony supporting the overlay method from the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) and the telecommunications industry.
Starting October 6, 2014, new telephone lines or services may be assigned numbers using the new 930 area code. In some cases, a customer with an 812 landline number who moves to a new location may be assigned a 930 number.
The most important facts for residential consumers and businesses in the 812 area to know are:
- Your telephone number, including current area code, will not change.
- You will need to dial area code + telephone number for all local calls.
- You will continue to dial 1 + area code + telephone number for all long distance calls.
- What is a local call now will remain a local call.
- The price of a call, coverage area, or other rates and services will not change due to the overlay.
- You can still dial just three digits to reach 211, 411, 811, or 911. The same applies to 311 service where applicable.
Consumers should identify their telephone numbers as a ten digit number (Area Code + 7 digit local number), and include the area code when giving the number to their friends, family, business associates and customers, etc.
Consumers should also ensure that all services, automatic dialing equipment, applications, software, or other types of equipment recognize the new 930 area code as a valid area code. You should also make sure that all pre-programmed numbers for local calls are set to include the area code. Some examples are life safety systems, fax machines, Internet dial-up numbers, alarm and security systems, gates, speed dialers, mobile phone contact lists, call forwarding settings, voicemail services, and similar functions. Business stationery, advertising materials, personal checks, and personal or pet ID tags and microchips should also be checked to ensure that the phone number includes the 812 area code.
More information is available from your local telephone company. You can also learn more from the OUCC's website at www.in.gov/oucc/2718.htm or the IURC's website at www.in.gov/iurc/2703.htm.
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