FRANKFORT, Ky. (WBKO) -- Everyone who works or lives in area code 270 has only two weeks left to get into the habit of making 10-digit local calls.
Mandatory 10-digit dialing for local calls begins Feb. 1, when area code 364 is added to the same geographic area as the current area code 270.
That date also marks the end of the “permissive dialing” period during which customers can dial either 7 or 10 digits when making local calls in area code 270.
The permissive dialing period allows customers to get used to the new dialing pattern, and permits telecommunication providers to prepare and test equipment in advance of the establishment of the new area code.
Area code 364 was created in December 2012 when the Public Service Commission decided that the best way to meet the need for more telephone numbers in area code 270 was through the creation of an overlay, which superimposes a new area code over an existing area code.
“Keep in mind that nobody’s current number changes on the first of February"..."The only change is to the dialing requirement," said Kentucky Public Service Commission Chairman David Armstrong.
The overlay option is the least disruptive for all customers and imposes the smallest cost on businesses in the area, the PSC said in its order creating area code 364.
This is the first area code in Kentucky created by an overlay.
Dialing 1 for local calls is not necessary now and will not be necessary after Feb. 1.
Local calls will not become long-distance calls.
In its December 2012 order, the PSC noted that public comments received in the case overwhelmingly favored an overlay.
The other option was to split area code 270 and designate a portion as area code 364, with both landline and wireless customers in the affected portion required to change their area code as a result.
The PSC noted that area code overlays have become the preferred method for creating new area codes nationwide.
Overlays pose the fewest technical issues for implementation by an
increasing complex telecommunication industry, the PSC said.
The first numbers using area code 364 may be assigned beginning March 3, 2014.
Area code 270 numbers can be assigned after that date, but their availability will depend on how many remain in the inventory of each individual service provider.
Service providers in area code 270 are required by the PSC to educate their customers about the changes resulting from the new area code.
All records in the area code case are available on the PSC website.
The case number is 2012-00129.
The PSC is an independent agency attached for administrative purposes to the Energy and Environment Cabinet.
It regulates more than 1,500 gas, water, sewer, electric and
telecommunication utilities operating in Kentucky and has approximately 90 employees.