If you live in area code 812 then this is for you: mandatory 10-digit dialing starts on Saturday, February 7, 2015. This has been in the works for quite some time (originally announced in August of 2012) and we gave a reasonably thorough overview of the situation last August. Even a call to the house next door will require that you include the area code in the number. It will still be a local call (so you don’t have to start with “1+” when dialing), but the call will fail if you only enter 7 digits.
The area that was previously just 812 is now 812 and 930, thanks to an Area Code Overlay. Indiana’s new area code map now looks like this:
So, what should you do now? Since we’re dealing with an area code overlay, there really isn’t much you need to do. Your number will retain its 812 area code, but you will need to get in the habit of reciting your area code whenever someone asks you for your phone number. Also along those lines, you’ll want to look through all of your contact numbers and make sure you have them listed with the area code. I was surprised to find a few numbers in my phone that were listed with just 7 digits, all of them numbers that I’ve had in my phone the longest — dating back to my first contact management system, well over 15 years ago.
Area Code Overlays are nothing new. The Indianapolis area (area code 317) is likely to go through an Area Code Overlay in 2017. It hasn’t been announced yet, but will be soon. All of this, of course, has been primarily driven by the ever-growing number of cell phones being put into service. In fact, Silicon India Magazine estimates that there are more cell phones in existence than there are people in the world…approximately 7 billion people and 7.3 billion cell phones! After all, even robots need cell phones!