TERRE HAUTE,Ind. (WTHI) – Last weekend, a trial period of 10-digit dialing for local calls began for those of us who live in the 812 area code. The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission is doing this to get us ready for the 930 area code overlay, which will take place this September.
812 has been southern Indiana’s area code since 1947. But it will run out of numbers by next year thanks to an increase in cell phone usage. Area Code 930 will “overlay,” or join 812 to give our part of the state more numbers. The caveat is this: local calls will go from 7 digits to 10.
“If you were billed with a local call before, you will be billed with a local call under 10-digit dialing,” said Marc Evans with Frontier Communications. His and other telecommunications companies informed the IURC of the number shortage in the early 2000′s. While other parts of the state divided a large area code into three smaller ones, Evans says the overlay is our best, less intrusive, most cost effective option.
“Let’s say we went to 930. That means everybody in that market, everybody in that circle or geography would have to change everything on their letterheads, all their businesses, everything would have to be changed,” said Evans.
The overlay only a forces a change on those of us doing the dialing. And speaking of dialing, Evans offers this tip. When making local calls, you only dial 10 digits. That changes when making a long distance call. That still requires you to dial a 1 then the area code. Evans admits this is quite a change, but he says the 930 overlay will have long-lasting benefits.
“We will have 71 more years before we run out of numbers and have to do this again.”
Frontier says the overlay does not affect three-digit numbers we call, like 911, 211 or 311. You still dial the three-digits to access those services.