News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

March 6, 2014

No problems reported in early 10-digit phone dialing

TERRE HAUTE — Just be grateful you (probably) aren’t using a rotary telephone these days.

That’s because 10-digit dialing is now in effect for local calls in the 812 area code – basically the southern third of Indiana, including Vigo County.

The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission voted last year, after months of public input and hearings, to impose the “overlay” solution to the drying up of available telephone numbers within the 812 area code. The commission voted to introduce 930 as a second area code for the region.

As of March 1, the IURC asked everyone to start using 10 digits for local calls within 812 area code. However, we are still in a “grace period,” so if you forget and dial just seven digits for a local call, it will still be completed.

There have been no problems with the system reported to the IURC so far, said Danielle McGrath, executive director of external affairs for the IURC, speaking Thursday.

One thing that could trip people up is that it remains necessary to dial a 1 before any long distance calls, McGrath said. However, for purely local calls, a 1 is not necessary.

The IURC launched a 13-month grace period for the introduction of the 930 area code last year. Divided into three phases, the grace period started with public education and network preparation. We are now in phase two, known as “permissive” dialing. That means you are supposed to dial 10 digits for local calls, but your call will still be completed if you dial just seven. Phase three – with mandatory 10 digit dialing – is set to begin Sept. 6.

New telephone numbers using the 930 area code will be introduced in southern Indiana starting Oct. 6, according to a Feb. 26 news release from the IURC and the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor. No one with an existing 812 number will be required to get a new number. However, folks moving to a new location could be issued a 930 number for new telephone connections.

The introduction of the 930 area code will not change telephone company billing rates. And local calls will remain local calls while long distance calls will remain long distance calls, the IURC has stated.

Anyone wishing to a report a problem making calls under the new 10-digit system is encouraged to contract the consumer affairs division of the IURC at 1-800-851-4268.

Reporter Arthur Foulkes can be reached at 812-231-4232 or arthur.foulkes@tribstar.com

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