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Numbers game: New area code on the way

Numbers game: New area code on the way

Photo: clipart.com

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Phone customers in the 740 area code should be prepared for some changes in the next couple of years.

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio says the 740 area will run out of available numbers in 2015 because of an increase in cell phone use so a new area code will have to be created for the region.

Customers can fill out a survey on the PUCO website, vote on one of two options for the area code and provide comments that will be part of the official record, commission chairman Todd Snitchler said.

The PUCO was notified by the North American Numbering Plan Administrator, which oversees the distribution of telephone numbers and assigns area codes, that the 740 area code is projected to run out of available phone numbers by April of 2015, Snitchler said

He says there are two options being studied by the PUCO to address the issue:

Option 1 involves an overlay, which would allow current users to keep their 740 numbers but would require 10-digit dialing for local calls within the 740 area. All new subscribers would receive the new area code.

Option 2 involves a split. Seven-digit dialing of local calls would remain within the area code, but would require approximately half of wireless and landline customers within the current area to change their telephone numbers.

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