By the end of the month, Ohio will get its 14th area code, which will include part of Delaware County.
“Starting Feb. 27, wherever the 614 area code reaches, 380 will now be introduced to that area code,” said Holly Karg, a spokeswoman for the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO).
A similar thing has already happened for those with the 740 area code: The 220 area code was added last spring.
PUCO has asked for the additional area code because the existing one is, in their words, “exhausted,” meaning all of the number combinations are either used up or soon will be.
“There’s a lot more phone numbers, and your point-of-sale (terminal, the computerized cash register used by most retailers) is a phone number,” Karg said. “Anytime you scan your credit card, whether it be at a gas pump or a grocery store or an ATM, they all have individual phone numbers.”
Over the weekend, people living or working near the Delaware-Franklin county line in the 614 area code may have noticed they can’t call their neighbor using a seven-digit phone number anymore. A recording will tell you to try again, either by adding the 614- or a 1- and the 614- to the phone number.
“A lot of people don’t give area codes,” Karg said. “Everyone has to use the 10-digit-dialing now. It’s very important to always mention your area code when you’re leaving a call-back number, and on your contact information or business card. Small businesses should make sure they update their directories or advertisements to make sure they mention their area code now, because it’s part of the phone number.”
Equipment, such as alarm systems, faxes, voice-mail services and the like. may need to be reprogrammed to include the 10-digit number as well. Cellphone users may need to update their contact lists if area codes aren’t already included.
While it may be an annoyance to do the 10-digit-dialing, the good news is that existing phone numbers won’t change. PUCO asked for an overlay, which means the new 380 area code will apply to the same area of central Ohio as the 614. An overlay is better than splitting the area covered, and having to change half of the phone numbers in that split-up area.
Beginning Feb. 27, new telephone lines or services in the existing 614 areas will be assigned the new 380 area code.
According to PUCO, “the price of a call, coverage area or other rates and services will not change due to the overlay” and “what is a local call now will remain a local call regardless of the number of digits dialed.”
For more information, either contact your telephone service provider or the PUCO call center at 1-800-686-7826.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.