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What makes up a telephone number?
Our telephone numbering system operates under the North American Numbering Plan, which was developed in 1947 by AT&T and subsequently adopted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). It established the 10-digit scheme we use today.
How many telephone numbers are in each area code?
Each area code contains 792 useable telephone prefixes, which are the 3-digit numbers that follow the area code. Each prefix has 10,000 telephone numbers, and each area code has 7.92 million telephone numbers.
Why aren't more numbers available?
Population growth, economic progress and the demand for new services (e.g., cell phones, faxes, and computers) have led to a number shortage.
What are the exhaust dates for Indiana's area codes?
How are telephone numbers assigned?
Telephone prefixes are assigned to carriers in particular geographic areas (rate centers). In the past, numbers used to be assigned in blocks of 10,000, which had to the potential to result in stranded telephone numbers that were left unused. In order to address this problem, the IURC petitioned the FCC for authority to implement 1,000 block number pooling for more granular assignment. Upon receiving approval, pooling became mandatory in order to extend the life of the 812 area code.
What is the area code relief process?
As the 812 area code was approaching its projected exhaust date, the NANPA called industry stakeholders together to discuss and recommend a form of relief. The industry then filed a petition for relief with the IURC on August 3, 2012 in Cause No. 44233. A procedural schedule has since been set and will include educational sessions and field hearings, as well as a formal hearing process. To view the dates, please check the procedural schedule.
What are the options for area code relief?
The most common methods of relief for area codes nearing exhaust include a geographic split or an overlay. A geographic split divides the existing area code into two or more areas with one of the areas retaining the existing area code and the other area(s) being assigned a new area code. An overlay, on the other hand, allows a new area code to be assigned over the same geographic area as the existing area code, which would allow current users to keep their numbers; however, it also means a neighbor or new business could have a different area code although they may be located next door. This would result in the need for 10-digit dialing (the area code and the seven-digit telephone number) for all calls, regardless of whether they are local or long distance.
How can I participate?
The Commission will hold educational sessions about the process and the proposed alternatives for area code relief. These sessions are an opportunity for the public to ask questions and learn more about the issues at hand. Field hearings will also be held in different locations throughout central and southern Indiana. During these hearings, members of the public have the opportunity to speak directly to the Commission and provide testimony in the case. If individuals are unable to attend, written comments may still be submitted to the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor. For more information, please click here.
When will a decision be made?
The Commission expects to render a decision by the end of 2013.
How quickly will the change go into effect?
The transition is introduced in two steps to familiarize consumers with the changes and allow time for adjustments. These steps are detailed below:
What's the best way to adjust to the transition?
Once a decision is announced, it is recommended that anyone affected by the change reprogram their mobile devices and/or update their address books.
Will my phone bill increase?
No. The new area code(s) will not change rates, local calling areas, or seven-digit phone numbers.