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380 Area Code Goes Into Effect January 30 For Central Ohio

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A new area code in Central Ohio goes into effect at the end of January.

Beginning January 30th, a new telephone area code will join 614 and 740 in Central Ohio. 

WOSU's Marilyn Smith talked with Matt Schilling of the PUCO to find out why the change is coming and what it will mean for callers.

The below transcript is an automated transcript of the above conversation. Please excuse minor typos and errors.

Marilyn Smith: Well Matt Schilling thank you so much for joining us. You would think there'd be an infininite number of telephone numbers when it comes to the phone. We already have 740 and 614. How is that we ran out of numbers?

Matt Schilling: Yeah it's simply just the increase in phone numbers out there in the 614 area code. As you can imagine with only seven digits you're going to run out eventually. So and that brings us to today where beginning in January of 2016, we're actually going to introduce a new area code into the Central Ohio region that will be overlaid on top of the 614 area code.

Marilyn Smith: OK, what is that number and what does it mean to overlay it?

Matt Schilling: It will actually be placed in the same geographic region. Everyone that's got a 614 area code number right now they're going to keep their number. That's not going to change. And just people getting new numbers are going to start to receive a 380 area code.

Marilyn Smith: So what does this mean when you're dialing?

Matt Schilling: So what this will mean now is if you are making a local call within the 614 area code or the new 380, callers are going to need to dial the full 10 digits. That means the area code and the seven digit number. Not doing that, the call will not complete and a message will come on directing the caller that they need to dial the full 10 digits.

Marilyn Smith: So if you're in a 614 area code now and you're calling another number, another 614 area phone, do you still have to dial in all its numbers?

Matt Schilling: Yeah. You know the phone is not going to know if you're trying to go to a 380 or 614 so that's that why the 10 digits are necessary.

Marilyn Smith: If you're putting numbers into your cell phone for example? Do you have to preset all of those?

Matt Schilling: Yeah, great question. Most cell phones are going to handle that automatically for you, but it might might be worthwhile to take a look at how your phone specifically handles calls like that.

Marilyn Smith: So what about speed dial and fax machines things like that?

Matt Schilling: Yeah those are all. That's a great question. Fax machine, speed dial, and maybe home security systems. Anything that you have that might be using a phone number or for businesses credit card readers, those are all usually hooked up to phones and those might need to be modified to make sure that these 10 digits are going to be in and that their calls are able to be completed.

Marilyn Smith: So is it just the proliferation of cell phones that's causing all this?

Matt Schilling: That's certainly the major driver you know as I just said now a days, but credit card readers are all in the phones and hooked up in the phone lines and they have their own phone lines. So think about when you go to the gas station those are those of got to communicate somehow as you are putting your card.

Marilyn Smith: Is this something that's occurring all over the country?

Matt Schilling: Yeah, all over the country. In fact earlier in 2015, folks in southeastern Ohio just went through this. Southeastern Ohio has the 740 code and that was just overlaid with the 220 area code so part of Ohio has just gone through this earlier this year and we're going to continue to see it in the coming years.

Marilyn Smith: As you project out what do you see in the near future? Do you see more?

Matt Schilling: Yes, certainly the 513 area code for example which is in southwest Ohio, right now is being projected to run out, to exhaust as we say run out of numbers in the first quarter of 2019.

Marilyn Smith: Matt Schilling of the PUCO thank you so much.

Matt Schilling: Thank you.