Commission Extends Deadline for 10-Digit Dialing in 317 Area Code to October 15th

INDIANAPOLIS (Aug. 31, 2016) – The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (Commission) has extended the deadline for 10-digit dialing in Central Indiana’s 317 telephone area code to Oct. 15, 2016.

Beginning on Oct. 15, 2016, consumers in the 317 area code will be required to dial 10 digits for all local phone calls. After this date, if consumers dial just 7 numbers, the call will not be completed and a recording will instruct them to hang up and dial again.

The Commission extended the deadline from Sept. 17, 2016 to Oct. 15, 2016, out of consideration for the Electronic Security Association’s (ESA of Indiana’s) request for additional time to prepare for 10-digit dialing. In July 2016, ESA of Indiana notified the Commission that certain alarm companies may be behind in their preparations for the switch to mandatory 10-digit dialing. After meeting with representatives of the alarm companies to determine the scope of the problem and recognizing that the 317 area code is projected to run out of numbers in the fourth quarter of the year, the Commission reopened Cause No. 44513 and, after reviewing new evidence, moved the deadline out by one month.

Just as was done recently for the 812 area code in southern Indiana, the 317/463 overlay is being implemented in response to projections that all numbering for 317 will run out by the end of this year. The change to 10-digit dialing is necessary so the new 463 area code can be added to the region. The new area code will “overlay” the entire 317 region. With the overlay, consumers are not required to change their existing phone numbers.

The Commission approved the 317/463 overlay in April 2015, following a nine-month case that included a lengthy public comment period and five public field hearings throughout the Indianapolis metropolitan area. The telecommunications industry and the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) filed testimony supporting the overlay method.

Beginning Nov. 15, 2016, numbers assigned for new telephone lines or services in the 317 region may include the new 463 area code.

Important facts for residential consumers and businesses to know are:

  • Your telephone number, including current area code, will not change.
  • You will need to dial area code + telephone number (a total of 10 digits) for all local calls in the 317 area.
  • You will continue to dial 1 + area code + telephone number (a total of 11 digits) for all long-distance calls.
  • The overlay will not change the price of a call, your coverage area or other rates and services.
  • You can still dial 3 digits to reach 911, along with other universal three-digit numbers (211, 411, 711 or 811).
  • You should start including the 317 area code together with your 7-digit local telephone numbers when providing numbers to others.
  • You should check that all the contacts in your phone’s contacts list include the area code.
  • Consumers, especially businesses, should ensure that all services, automatic-dialing equipment, applications, software or other types of equipment recognize 463 as a valid area code.
  • You should make sure that all preprogrammed numbers for local calls are set to include the area code. Some examples are life safety systems, fax machines, Internet dial-up numbers, alarm and security systems, gates, speed dialers, mobile phone contact lists, call forwarding settings, voicemail services and similar functions.

Any safety and security equipment, including medical alert devices and alarm systems, must be programmed for mandatory 10-digit local dialing unless the calls are already directed to toll-free or long-distance telephone numbers before Oct. 15, 2016. If you are not sure whether your equipment needs to be reprogrammed, contact your medical alert or security provider. To avoid last-minute issues, consumers are strongly encouraged to contact their security companies immediately so they can ensure their equipment is properly programmed or find a provider whose equipment is prepared for 10-digit dialing. Although the Commission lacks jurisdiction over alarm companies, in the event certain alarm companies will be unable to continue to serve all of their customers, the Commission would expect the companies to provide notice to their affected customers well in advance of the Oct. 15 deadline.

About Brian Scott

I play on the radio from 7 am -1 pm weekdays on 98.9 FM WYRZ and WYRZ.org. Follow me on twitter @WYRZBrianScott or e-mail me at brian@wyrz.org.

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