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Ten-digit dialing, new area code coming to county

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By Calen McKinney

 

When residents make local phone calls, they will soon have to input 10 digits instead of seven.

Mandatory 10-digit dialing will begin in the 270 area code on Feb. 1. The area code includes Taylor and surrounding counties.

According to a news release from the Kentucky Public Service Commission, residents are urged to begin using the 10-digit dialing system now in preparation.

Residents have been able to dial 10 digits to make local phone calls for several months now in preparation for the change.

David Armstrong, chairman of the state PSC, says now is the time for residents to update their automatic dialing entries in their cellular phones, computers and fax machines to ensure their calls will be completed as dialed.

After Feb. 1, if 10 digits aren't used to make local calls, the call will not be completed.

Also on Feb. 1, according to the news release, area code 364 will be added to the same geographic area that currently has the 270 area code.

The news release states that the 364 area code was created in December when PSC officials decided that a new area code overlay was the best way to meet the need for more telephone numbers in the 270 area code.

"Keep in mind that nobody's current number changes on the first of February," Armstrong said. "The only change is to the dialing requirement."

Creating a new area code, which will simply overlay in the 270 area, according to the PSC, is the least disruptive way to ensure all residents who want them have telephone numbers. This is the first area code in Kentucky created by an overlay, the news release states.

When making local calls, residents won't have to input a "1" before dialing an area code. As such, local calls won't become long distance. Long distance calls will require 11 digits as they always have.

The new area code will be assigned to phone numbers created beginning March 3. The PSC said 270 area code numbers can still be assigned, though that will depend on availability.

The PSC has required that phone service providers in the 270 area code educate their customers about the changes. Windstream officials have sent information about the changes to customers in their monthly bills several times.