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812 area code to run out of numbers in 2015
Updated on: 09.24.12

The 812 area code, established when North America’s telephone numbering system went into effect in 1947, is running short of numbers. Forecasts call for that to happen in the first half of 2015.

The projected shortage is being caused by population and business growth and greater demand for cell phones. The 812 area code is Indiana’s largest by geography, covering the southern third of the state including cities such as Columbus, Bloomington, Terre Haute, Seymour and Evansville.

To make more seven-digit phone numbers available, state regulators will chose from two types of options:

Splitting the geographic area into two or more three-digit zones, either north-south or east-west.

Overlaying a new three-digit area code over the existing boundaries of the 812 area code.

In an overlay, all existing telephone numbers stay the same, including the existing area code. But new numbers within that same geography would be assigned to a new area code.

In dialing, all customers — in the old area code and new one — would need to enter 10 digits for all local calls. Since 2005, 43 new area codes have been implemented in North America. All but two have been implemented as overlays.

In a split, an additional cost is incurred when business customers assigned to the new area code, for example, must change their phone number on business cards, in telephone directories and in other marketing tools.

But with that option, callers can continue to dial just seven digits for local calls, and that approach retains a geographic identify for the area codes. Before 2005, most new area codes were implemented using a geographic split, with an existing area code divided into two or more regions.

The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, the state agency that handles utility matters, has scheduled a hearing for next summer on the matter, although the agency also will hold public hearings in early 2013 in yet-to-be-determined locations.

The telecommunications industry on Sept. 7 petitioned the IURC to implement an overlay.

Indiana last dealt with the issue in 2002, when IURC split the 219 area code in northern Indiana into three area codes, adding the new 260 and 574 codes.

At the time, the industry, as now, favored an overlay, but consumers preferred a split. In 1996, the 765 area code was created in central Indiana, split apart from the 317 area code that now covers Indianapolis and its suburbs.

Indiana will have to revisit the issue soon for the 317 area code, which is expected to run out of numbers in early 2016.

The number of unassigned area codes in North America is expected to last until 2042.

-- Boris Ladwig, The Republic (Columbus)

Have your say

Consumers can provide input at the hearings and by submitting written comments via:

Fax: 317-232-5923

Mail: Consumer Services Staff; Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor; 115 W. Washington St., Suite 1500 South; Indianapolis, IN 46204

Email: uccinfo@oucc.IN.gov or the Office of Utility Consumer Counselor’s website, IN.gov/oucc/2361.htm.

Comments should include the consumer’s name, mailing address, and a reference to IURC Cause No. 44233.

Split or overlay?

The 812 area code is projected to run out of numbers in 2015, and state regulators are expected to address the number shortage with one of two main options: 1. Splitting the geographic area into two or more three-digit codes and 2. Overlaying a second three-digit area code over the existing 812 area.

Geographic split

Advantages:

  • 7-digit dialing maintained for all local calls.
  • Geographic association with area code maintained.
  • Only people and equipment in the area with the new area code face change and adjustment.
  • Avoids the possibility that consumers with two or more phone numbers may be assigned two different area codes.

Disadvantages:

  • Financial impact: those consumers with the new area code will need to change signage and business cards, etc.; higherUse of numbering resources is limited to each side of the split, one side may exhaust sooner than the other causing a difficult decision as to which area keeps the original 812 code.
  • Subsequent area code relief would still cause disruption with more customers having to change area codes.

Overlay

Advantages:

  • Subsequent area codes can be implemented seamlessly: n Once 10-digit dialing is established, new area codes do not require equipment to be reprogrammed nor is there the need to educate introduction of change in dialing patterns.
  • Pool of numbering resources can be used over a larger geographic area.
  • All existing telephone numbers keep their current area code.

Disadvantages:

  • Everyone in the existing area code has to dial 10 digits for all local calls.
  • Customer equipment and alarm systems would need to be programmed to accommodate 10-digit dialing, new phones may require signage and printing changes.
  • Area code no longer an indication of geographic location.

Source: Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission

 

Obituaries
See Full List »

Joel 'Joe' F. White, 81, Brown County
  Husband of Barbara (Lotshaw) White; stepfather of Dana Steele of Brown County

Anne Marie “Annie” (Beeson) Endris, 43, Nashville
  

Brian L. Lawalin, 56, Indianapolis
  Son of Rosie Lawalin of Brown County; father of Daven Lawalin and Jamie Rainwater, both of Trafalgar

  • May 25
    Government Offices CLOSED
  • May 26
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • May 26
    BC Area Plan Commission CANCELED
    County Office Building, 201 N. Locust Lane
  • May 26
    Open 12-step meeting in New Bellsville area
    8 p.m. Harmony Baptist Church, 3999 Mt. Liberty Road, New Bellesville
  • May 27
    Jeff Foster at Hobnob restaurant
    6 to 8 p.m. Hobnob, 17 W. Main St.
  • May 27
    BC Sheriff's Merit Board
    4 p.m. Sheriff's Office, Law Enforcement Center, 55 State Road 46 East
  • May 27
    BC Board of Zoning Appeals
    6 p.m. County Office Building, 201 N. Locust Lane
  • May 28
    Go Club at the library
    3:30 to 5 p.m. Brown County Public Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • May 29
    Farmers market reopens in Bean Bean Blossom
    4 p.m. St. David's Episcopal Church, 11 State Road 45 at 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • May 29
    Bingo
    6 p.m. Fruitdale Fire Station, 5200 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • May 29
    Gospel jubilee at Redbarn
    8 p.m. RedBarn Jamboree, 71 Parkview Road off 46 East
  • May 30
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • May 30
    Dave Miller at Abe Martin Lodge
    5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Brown County State Park, State Road 46 East
  • May 30
    Comedy tour at the Playhouse
    7:30 p.m. BC Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren St.
  • May 31
    Dave Miller at Abe Martin Lodge
    10 a.m. to noon Abe Martin Lodge, Brown County State Park
  • June 2
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • June 2
    Open 12-step meeting in New Bellsville area
    8 p.m. Harmony Baptist Church, 3999 Mt. Liberty Road, New Bellesville
  • June 2
    Bean Blossom Sewer Board
    6:30 p.m. County Office Building, 201 N. Locust Lane
  • June 3
    Jeff Foster at Hobnob restaurant
    6 to 8 p.m. Hobnob, 17 W. Main St.
  • June 4
    Go Club at the library
    3:30 to 5 p.m. Brown County Public Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • June 4
    WRAPS
    7 to 9 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • June 4
    Gospel jam & sing first Thursday in Gnaw Bone
    6:30 p.m. Country Gospel Church, 5181 State Road 46 East
  • June 5
    Strawberry fest during farmers market
    4 p.m. St. David's Episcopal Church, 11 State Road 45 at 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • June 5
    Bingo
    5 p.m. Fruitdale Fire Station, 5200 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • June 5
    Gospel jubilee at Redbarn
    8 p.m. RedBarn Jamboree, 71 Parkview Road, off 46 East
  • June 6
    Shrine parade celebrates summer
    11 a.m. downtown Nashville
  • June 7
    Read to dogs at the library
    2 to 3:30 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • June 11
    Gospel jam & sing at Gnaw Bone church
    6:30 p.m. Country Gospel Church, 5181 State Road 46 East
  • June 12
    BC photography club
    7 to 9 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • June 13
    Free community breakfast at Sprunica church
    8 to 10 a.m. Sprunica Baptist Church, 3902 Sprunica Road
  • June 13
    Open house conducted at New Song
    9 to 11 a.m. New Song Mission, 7202 Keith Donaldson Road, Freetown
  • June 15
    Essential oil class at tea shop
    6 p.m. Sweetea's Tea Shop, 225 S. Van Buren St., Suite C, Coachlight Square
  • June 17
    Hamblen Fire District
    7 p.m. Hamblen Fire Station, 4650 Sweetwater Trail, Gatesville
  • June 20
    Rock & mineral club
    6 p.m. Extension Office, 802 Memorial Drive at the fairgrounds
  • June 20
    Pollinator Awareness Day at state park Nature Center
    9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Brown County State Park, 1450 State Road 46 East (north entrance)
  • July 11
    Health fair at the YMCA
    8 a.m. to noon YMCA, 105 Willow St.