(Aurora, Ind.) – Pretty soon, the 812 will also be referred to as the 930.
The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission has approved a new area code for southern Indiana to address its dwindling number of available 812 telephone numbers. The list of numbers with an 812 area code – until now unchanged since it was created in 1947 – is virtually exhausted because of population growth, economic progress, the proliferation of cell phones, and other factors.
The new 930 area code will be overlaid inside the existing 812 area. The change means that residents in the existing 812 area code will need 10-digit dialing for all calls, regardless of whether they are local or long distance. It could mean that homes or businesses with two or more lines have different area codes on those lines.
New area code numbers could be given out as soon as 2014. The IURC says before the overlay goes into effect, there will be a 13‐month grace period that will include six months of customer education and network preparation. That will be followed by six months of permissive seven or 10‐digit dialing, and then one month of mandatory 10‐digit dialing. Permissive dialing allows customers to make telephone calls using seven or 10 digits during this transition period. Even after the transition, local calls and local calling areas will remain the same.
“Media throughout southern Indiana have followed this closely and responded with coverage, which has been instrumental in community outreach and educating the public,” said IURC Commissioner Larry Landis. “At the end of the day, it all comes down to education and making sure this transition is as smooth as possible.”
Now with a new set of numbers to be given, the 930 and 812 area codes are projected to last for the next 71 years, even with continued demand.
The IURC said the overlay option was the overwhelmingly popular choice of the public and the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor. The other option to split southern Indiana into two separate area codes would have required one half to switch all of its numbers from 812 to 930. Such a situation would have required businesses and organizations to reprint their advertising, letterhead, business cards, and more to reflect the change. However, the local seven-digit dialing rule would have stayed in effect.