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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Telephone customers in western Kentucky can begin getting ready starting this weekend for changes in area codes set to begin early next year. That's when area code 364 will be added to the same geographic area as the current area code 270.
Saturday marks the beginning of a "permissive dialing" period lasting six months. Callers will be able to dial either seven or 10 digits when they make local calls. Mandatory 10-digit dialing will begin February 1 of next year.
"The permissive dialing period is intended to allow customers to become accustomed to the new dialing patterns," Kentucky Public Service Commission Chairman David Armstrong said in a news release. "They have six months to get used to dialing the area code on all calls and to reprogram phones and other equipment that uses automatic dialing."
The Public Service Commission decided that the best way to meet the need for more phone numbers in area code 270 was to allow a new area code in the same area. This is the first "overlay," as it's called, created in Kentucky. The PSC says public comments overwhelmingly favored the overlay.
"An overlay allows everyone who now has an area code 270 phone number to keep that number," Armstrong said. "The only change is the 10-digit dialing for local calls." No one will need to dial "1," and those calls do not become long-distance calls.
1. All current area code 270 numbers remain unchanged. Everyone with a 270 area code number can keep it. Nobody is required to change their area code or phone number.
2. The overlay affects both landline and wireless services.
3. Area code 364 will be overlaid on top of area code 270. That means that area codes 270 and 364 will occupy the same physical space beginning March 2014.
4. In order to distinguish between phone numbers with area code 270 and those with area code 364, 10-digit dialing will be required for all local calls within the overlay.
5. Ten-digit dialing also will be required for local calls into or out of the overlay in those areas that now allow seven-digit local calling across the area code 270 boundary.
6. Ten-digit dialing means dialing the area code before dialing the number itself – for example: 270-555-1212 or 364-555-1212.
7. Long-distance calls within the overlay will require 11-digit (1-plus) dialing, just as long distance calls to other area codes do now.
8. A transition period, known as permissive dialing, will begin on August 3, 2013 and end on January 31, 2014. During that time, local calls can be made using either seven-digit or 10-digit dialing.
9. On February 1, 2014, 10-digit dialing for local calls will become mandatory in the area code 270/364 territory.
10. Numbers with area code 364 may be distributed beginning March 3, 2014. Telecommunication service providers may continue to distribute 270 numbers for as long as they have any remaining in their inventories.