Monroe County Residents Support Area Code Overlay

Residents say they would rather have two different area codes in the same region, than force some Hoosiers to get new phone numbers.

area code hearing

Photo: Dan Goldblatt/WFIU News

Members of the IURC speak at a hearing in Bloomington held to discuss the 812 area code.

Monroe County residents and business owners do not want to split South Central Indiana into two separate area codes. That was the consensus Thursday  at a meeting to discuss solutions to the dwindling numbers of 812 phone numbers still available in the state.

Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission spokeswoman Danielle McGrath says the state is running out of 812 numbers, so there are two main options available.

“There can either be a geographic split, or an overlay, which will result in ten digit dialing,” she says.

Every person who spoke publicly at the hearing in Bloomington, supported the overlay.

Century Link representative Alan Matsumoto says an overlay will allow homes and businesses to keep their same number.

“For the customer effects, the customers will not have to do any number changes, and from a provider aspect, it is much easier to implement, and to do customer education,” he says.

If the state agency decided to split the area, residents would not have to dial 10 digits to call their neighbor. But about half of people who already have an 812 area code would get a new phone number.

Long distance rates and regions would not be affected.

McGrath says the IURC hopes to have a decision on which plan to implement by the end of the year.

Dan Goldblatt

Dan Goldblatt is the Multi-media Producer for WFIU/WTIU News. A graduate of Indiana University, he studied journalism and anthropology. He currently lives in Bloomington with his cat, June Carter.

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