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PUCO approves overlay plan for 740 area code

By Wayne Allen

December 16, 2013

Wayne Allen


Common Staff Writer


On Wednesday the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) announced that starting March 21, 2015 the overlay plan for the 740 area code will go into effect.


The PUCO also announced the new area code that will be given to new phone consumers, after all of the 740 numbers have been exhausted will be 220.


The PUCO’s overlay plan when implemented in March of 2015 includes a mandatory 10-digit local dialing. Under the plan, all calls that are currently local will remain local, while long distance calls will continue as such.


According to the PUCO, “in order for subscribers in the 740 area code to become accustom to the pending changes in local dialing, subscribers will be able to complete local calls by dialing either 10 or seven digits beginning September 20, 2014 and continue for at least six months. After the six-month grace period, callers will be required to dial 10 digits. Ten-digit dialing means telephone users will need to dial their area code plus the seven-digit telephone number for all local calls in the


future.”


Todd A. Snitchler, PUCO Chairman said, “the Commission found that the overlay plan is the more appropriate and equitable one in order to provide the best long-term relief for the 740 area code. The Commission weighed the input received from the public and from the Ohio telecommunications industry and has determined the overlay plan as the least disruptive and fair – treating all existing 740 customers equally by allowing current customers to retain the 740 area code on all existing lines.”


He said the ruling by the PUCO is consistent with the past four area code relief cases in Ohio.


The PUCO was informed by the North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA); the 740 area code was projected to run out of available phone numbers in the second quarter of 2015.


According to released information from the PUCO, “following the approval of an overlay plan, the NANPA will assign the new 220 area code to parts of central and southeast Ohio that will co-exist with the existing geographical boundaries of the 740 area code. All current 740 area code subscribers will continue to maintain the 740 area code. Once the available phone numbers in the 740 area code exhaust, telephone numbers in the new 220 area code will be utilized. For more information about the PUCO visit www.PUCO.ohio.gov.


Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-1151, or tallen@civitasmedia.com. For breaking news, follow Wayne on Twitter @WayneallenPDT.