Area Code to be Required for All Calls

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It will soon require 10 digits to make a local call instead of the traditional seven when a new area code is put in place for portions of central and southeast Ohio in March.

Residents in Athens County and surrounding areas will need to dial the area code along with the seven-digit phone number for all calls beginning on March 21.

Callers have been able to use 10-digit or seven-digit telephone numbers since September 2014.

Those who currently have the 740 area code will be keeping their phone number, while new phone numbers in the region will be given numbers with a 220 area code.

The decision for the “overlay” of area codes was announced in December of 2013 by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. The change was necessitated by the fact that the North American Numbering Plan Administrator, which distributes area codes across the United States, informed PUCO that the 740 area code would run out by mid-2015.

In addition to dialing the area code plus phone number for all calls, area residents are advised to update any preprogrammed 7-digit phone numbers in mobile device to include the area code, as well as any text or email alert services.

A reprograming of all services and devices that utilize a seven-digit phone number to include the area code, including automatic dialing equipment is also advised.

This includes life safety systems, fire and burglar alarms and security systems, security gates, speed dialers, call forwarding settings, fax machines, voice mail and internet dial-up numbers.

Items that will not change include current phone numbers and area code, the price of a call, coverage area or other rates and services, what is considered to be a local call, and three digit calls including 911.

For information, and to view the area code overlay map, visit