10-digit dialing arrives in Indianapolis in preparation for new area code

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – It’s an important change for Hoosiers who live in the 317 area code.

Starting Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016, you’ll have to dial 10 digits to make a phone call. That means you’ll have to dial the area code and phone number (317-555-5555) instead of just the seven-digit number itself.

If you try to make a call Saturday without dialing the area code, you’ll get a recording reminding you to try again with the 10-digit number.

“Switching to 10-digit dialing is the biggest change folks are going to be dealing with here. The tradeoff though, anyone with a 317 number gets to keep it,” said Anthony Swinger with the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor.

The change signals the arrival of a new area code for Indianapolis and surrounding suburbs. Numbers will soon be assigned to the 463 area code. Without the addition of the 463 area code, Indianapolis would run out of phone numbers by the end of the year, Swinger said.

“The area code 463 is going to apply to new phone numbers that are assigned after mid-November and new phone lines assigned after that date,” Swinger said.

The 463 numbers will be assigned starting Nov. 15.

“Local calling areas stay the same. When you add a new area code or change the dialing pattern that does not raise rates, it does not turn local calls into long distance calls,” Swinger said.

To make a long distance call, you’ll need to dial 1 plus the 10-digit number. Swinger said the 10-digit dialing switch won’t affect how you call 911, 411, 211 or other three-digit numbers.

The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission added the 463 area code after studying the issue for nine months. The agency approved the 317/463 overlay after listening to public comment and holding five public hearings around the Indianapolis area.

The “overlay” method of adding new area codes has been used in the U.S. since 2008. Last year, Southern Indiana implemented the 812/930 overlay to expand the availability of phone numbers in the region.

You can learn more about the change at the IURC’s website or the OUCC’s website.