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New Central Ohio Area Code Takes Effect January 30

A new area code takes effect in central Ohio on January 30th.  The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio ordered the 380 area code because the 614 area code is running out of phone numbers. Instead of breaking the region into two area codes, regulators adopted an overlay plan that also requires people to dial 10-digit numbers. The dwindling amount of phone numbers in the 614 area code is due to heavy demand from cell phone users and credit card scanners on gas pumps, vending machines and other electronic devices. A transition period has been in effect since last June, allowing people to get used to dialing 10-digits for local calls. The commission says once the new area code and 10-digit dialing takes effect, some customers might have to dial the number 1 before entering the desired phone number, bumping the total to 11. People who live in the nearby 740 area code are already used to having a second area code. Customers in the 30-county central and southeastern Ohio region began using both the 740 and the 220 area codes last year as part of another commission overlay plan.

Jim has been with WCBE since 1996. Before that he worked as a reporter at another Columbus radio station, and for three newspapers in Southwest Florida.
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