Mandatory 10-digit dialing starts Saturday

Published 10:07 am Wednesday, March 18, 2015

ATHENS — Beginning Saturday, all local calls made within the Ohio 740 area code must be placed using the 10- or 11-digit telephone number (area code plus the seven-digit telephone number or 1 + area code + seven-digit telephone number).

To ensure a continuing supply of telephone numbers, the new 220 area code will be added to the 740 area code region, which generally covers the southeastern portion of Ohio and serves communities such as Athens, Cambridge, Delaware, Jackson, Lancaster, Marion, Newark, Portsmouth and Zanesville.

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) ordered an area code overlay for the area served by 740. The new 220 area code will be “overlaid” or superimposed over the same geographical area as the 740 area code.

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Effective this weekend, 10- or 11-digit dialing will be necessary for local and expanded local calls to be completed. Local calling areas and rates will not be affected by this change.

Residential and business customers within the existing 740 area code should be prepared for the introduction of the new 220 area code. Beginning April 22, customers in the 740 area code region requesting new service, an additional line or, in some cases, moving their service, may be assigned a number with the new 220 area code.

The most important facts consumers and businesses need to know about the upcoming 220 area code overlay are:

• Your telephone number, including current area code, will not change.

• You will need to dial area code + telephone number for all local calls.

• You will continue to dial 1+ area code + telephone number for all long-distance calls.

• What is a local call now will remain a local call.

• The price of a call, coverage area or other rates and services will not change due to the overlay.

• You can still dial just three digits to reach 911.

• If 211, 311, 411, 511, 611, 711 or 811 are currently available in your community, you will still dial these codes with just three digits.

Customers should identify their telephone number as a 10-digit number (area code + seven-digit telephone number) and include the area code when giving the number to friends, family, business associates, customers, etc.