Everyone in the 740 area code, which includes more than 30 counties in central and southeastern Ohio, will have to start dialing the area code + phone number for all calls starting March 21, 2015. Callers have been able to use 10 digit or 7 digit telephone numbers since September 2014.
Why is this change necessary? The North American Numbering Plan Administrator, which distributes area codes across the United States, informed PUCO that the 740 area code would run out by mid-2015.
The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio worked out an overlay area code of 220 to address the problem. Everyone must dial 10 digits for local calls but only new customers would be assigned the new area code, 220.
In addition to dialing the area code + phone number for all calls, you should also complete the following items:
- Update any preprogrammed 7-digit phone numbers in your mobile device to include the area code, as well as any text or email alert services.
- Reprogram all services and devices that utilize a 7-digit phone number to include the area code, including automatic dialing equipment. Other examples include:
- Life safety systems
- Fire or burglar alarm and security system
- Security gates
- Speed dialers
- Call forwarding settings
- Fax machines
- Internet dial-up numbers
- Voice mail services and similar functions
The following items won’t change:
- Your phone number, including current area code.
- The price of a call, coverage area or other rates and services.
- Calls that are considered local now will remain a local call, regardless of the number of digits dialed.
- 9-1-1 calls are not affected. Only three digits are required.
- If 211, 311, 411, 511, 611, 711 or 811 are currently available in your community, you’ll still be able to call them by dialing just three digits.