New area code will change how you make calls


(Posted March 18, 2015)

By Linda Dillman, Staff Writer

Madison County, along with the rest of the 740 area code coverage area, is projected to run out of available phone numbers by the middle of this year, forcing the addition of a new area code overlay.

Although a consumer may live in the old 740 coverage area, if they purchase new phone service, they will be assigned a 220 area code beginning April 22. Because of the new area code, everyone in the existing 740 area—as of March 21—is required to enter their area code before entering the phone number.

The proliferation of cell phones, faxes, pagers, ATMs and pay-at-the-pump gas stations contributed to the situation. The North American Numbering Plan Association (NANPA), an agency responsible for overseeing area codes across the nation, alerted the state Public Utilities Commission (PUCO).

Based on input from the public and the Ohio telecommunications industry, PUCO determined the overlay plan would be the least disruptive and fair—treating all existing 740 customers equally by allowing current customers to retain the 740 area code on all existing lines.

As a result of PUCO’s action, everyone in the 30-county coverage area will need to dial their area code along with the phone number for all outgoing calls. Gone are the days of punching in seven digits to call a friend or relative or make a reservation for dinner.

According to PUCO spokesperson Katie Salvator, all local calls will remain local and if 211, 311, 411, 511, 611, 711 or 811 are avail-able in the community, you will still dial these codes with just three digits.

“Customers should ensure that all ser-vices, automatic dialing equipment, applica-tions, software, or other types of equipment recognize the new 220 area code as a valid area code and that area codes are included in any local phone number that equipment may dial,” advised Salvator.

Examples of items to check for are life safety systems, fax machines, Internet dial-up numbers, alarm and security systems, gates, speed dialers, mobile phone contact lists, call forwarding settings, voicemail services and similar functions.

“Consumers should be sure to check business stationery, advertising materials, personal checks, and personal or pet ID tags to ensure the area code is included in telephone numbers,” Salvator said. “Remember that all local calls must be programmed using 10 digits, and you need to add ‘1’ for all long distance calls.”

If a consumer makes a call after March 20 without first dialing their area code, they will hear a recording saying that they must hang up and dial the number again, area code first.

A similar situation is occurring in the 614 area code. In October 2014, NANPA determined that area code is set to exhaust in the second quarter of 2016. The telephone industry is now working together to plan for a 380 overlay in the 614 area code.

For more information on the new area code, visit

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