270 Region begins transition to 10-digit dialing in August

(Filed July 17, 2013) Frankfort-In the upcoming weeks phone customers throughout the region who use the 270 area code may begin using 10-digit dialing as the area prepares for a new dialing code.


The option to use the area code runs from August 3 through January 31, 2014, after that date customers will be required to dial 10 digits when placing local calls.


The need for a new area code arose years ago, but after several delays the Kentucky Public Services Commission (PSC) has ordered an area code overlay for the 270 region that covers western Kentucky.


Beginning in March of 2014, customers throughout the region who request new service will likely be assigned the new 364 area code.
In the fall of 2012 the PSC opened proceedings that led to the decision to do an area code overlay instead of a split, which would assign area code 364 to a portion of the current area code 270 territories.


Andrew Melnykovych, director of communications of the PCS, said the overlay system of adding an area code has become the national standard and will prevent the hassle of half the people in the region receiving a new number.


“No one will have to make any adjustments except for the 10-digit dialing,” he said.
Melnykovych said it was likely based on the information PCS had received that there will be a shortage of available numbers that use the 270 area code in the first half of 2014.


“We conducted fairly exhaustive meetings last fall,” he said. “The decision, based on information gathered and constituent input, was to do an overlay.”


Area codes 270 and 364 will be used in the same physical space, and he said the biggest advantage of an overlay was that no one would have to change their old numbers.
While it’s optional for customers to start using 10-digit dialing until the end of January, it will be mandatory after that point.


Local calls throughout the region will require dialing 10 digits, and to dial long distance, callers must add 1.


The reason behind the overlay is that there aren’t many numbers left available with the 270 area code.


He said new customers might be able to still receive the 270 area code numbers after February, but that bigger businesses that might come to the area will almost certainly need numbers with the new area code.
“Bigger blocks of numbers aren’t available,” he said. “It will be a gradual transition until there are no more numbers with the 270 area code.”