|Cell phones, computers gobbling up 812 area code|
|Written by Submitted|
|Wednesday, September 19, 2012 8:26 PM|
Following a petition calling for area code relief, the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission established a procedural schedule under Cause No. 44233, to address the limited quantity of unassigned telephone numbers available under the 812 area code.
Population growth, economic progress, and the demand for new services (i.e., cell phones, faxes, and computers) have all contributed to the number shortage, and the area code is slated to exhaust its numbers by the second quarter of 2015.
If left unaddressed, there would come a point in time when existing and new customers would be unable to receive a telephone number in the 812 area code.
Before an area code reaches exhaust, the North American Numbering Plan Administrator (files a petition with the IURC seeking relief on behalf of the industry. In this case, the NANPA’s petition included seven options – a combination of geographic splits and overlays.
A geographic split divides the existing area code into two or more areas with one of the areas retaining the existing area code and the other area(s) being assigned one or more new area code(s). An overlay, on the other hand, allows a new area code to be assigned over the same geographic area as the existing area code, which means a neighbor or new business could have a different area code although they may be located next door. This would result in the need for 10-digit dialing for all calls, regardless of whether they are local or long distance.
The IURC may select one of these alternatives or devise an option of its own based on the evidence presented. A decision in this case is expected by the end of 2013, with multiple educational sessions and field hearings being held throughout the procedural schedule.
This hearing will be live streamed.
Educational sessions will be held prior to the start of the procedural schedule so that users in the affected area, primarily southern and central Indiana, can learn more about the area code relief process and why it is necessary. Field hearings will also be held throughout the service territory before the filing deadlines. The dates, times, and locations are still to be determined.
For more information about the alternatives proposed by the NANPA, the history of area code relief, and what the process will entail, please visit the IURC’s website at www.in.gov/iurc/2703.htm. For information on how the public can submit written comments, please see the OUCC’s news release at: www.in.gov/oucc/2356.htm.