News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

February 27, 2014

Hoosiers encouraged to dial all 10 digits

New 930 area code will go into use in fall

TERRE HAUTE — The first overlay of a new area code in Indiana takes effect Sept. 6, requiring all devices within the 812 area code to use 10 digits to complete a local call.

However, under an order from the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, Hoosiers in the 812 areas code are being encouraged to get into the practice starting Saturday, said Natalie M. Derrickson, communications manager for the Indiana Utility Regulator Commission.

The need for the use of 10 digits is a new area code — 930.

The 812 area code, which covers southern, south-central and parts of west-central Indiana, including Terre Haute and cities such as Bloomington, Columbus, Evansville and New Albany, was established in 1947.

Since then, area codes in Indiana have been split into separate smaller geographic areas as the need arises. However, since 2008, a national trend has been to “overlay” a new area code, keeping an existing geographic area intact, Derrickson said.

“It seems area codes are exhausting sooner from more cell phones and fax lines, all sorts of demand for things. It not typical anymore for a family to have just one home phone,” Derrickson said.

The reason for the early practice is that it may take Hoosiers some time to add the 812 prefix to all local contacts in cell phones, fax machines, alarms and security systems linked to telephone lines, speed dialers, call forwarding settings, voicemail services, Internet dial-up numbers, and similar functions.

The 812 area code has 7.92 million numbers, Derrickson said, however those numbers are projected to be exhausted in 2015. The new 930 area code will also have 7.92 million numbers.

“The 812 and 930 area codes together have a projected life of 71 years,” Derrickson said.

Until Sept. 6, local calls made with seven digits will still work to give consumers in the 812 area ample time to adjust to the changes, Derrickson said.

“It will certainly take some practice...and effort. It is common for people just to hit a contact, like ‘call Dave’ on their cell phone...but it will be important to add the area code before, because on Sept. 6, if you hit ‘call Dave’ and the area code is not on there, the call will not be completed,” Derrickson said.

Starting October 6, 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.

Hoosier can still dial three digit numbers such as 211, 411, 811 or 911. The same applies to 311 service where applicable, according to the IURC.

Reporter Howard Greninger can be reached at 812-231-4204 or howard.greninger@tribstar.com.

 

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