10-digit dialing: What you need to know

GREENFIELD — Residents will be required to dial the area code when making all phone calls, including local calls, starting Saturday.

The change comes in preparation for the new 463 area code that’s being launched in response to few 317 combinations remaining. Starting this weekend, local calls made without first dialing the area code won’t go through.

Here’s what you need to know:

Why is the change necessary?

In 2014, the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor reported that the 317 area code, which covers Indianapolis and much of the surrounding area, including Hancock County, would exhaust the supply of numbers by 2017. In response, the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, which oversees much of the telecommunications industry, added 463 as a new area code that will serve the region in the future.

What happens to my 317 phone number?

Consumers who already have 317 area codes won’t get new phone numbers. But they will need to dial the full 10-digit phone number when making any local calls. Once the 317 combinations run out, telephone number providers will begin issuing the 463 (which spells IND on the keypad) area code.

What happens if I don’t dial the full 10 digits?

If you don’t dial an area code, your call won’t be completed. In most cases, a recording will instruct callers to hang up and redial with the area code. If your call doesn’t go through even after dialing the area code, contact your telephone service provider.

Do I need to make any changes to my phone?

To avoid trouble when mandatory 10-digit dialing launches, cellphone users should add the area code to phone numbers already saved in their contact lists.

How long will it be before central Indiana needs another new area code?

The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor projects central Indiana, including Hancock County, won’t need area code changes again until 2065.

Source: The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor

Samm Quinn is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3275 or squinn@greenfieldreporter.com.