Central Ohioans will see a new 380 area code introduced in their area because the available phone numbers for the existing 614 code are expected to run out next year.
Regulators plan to use both codes for the same geographic area, meaning even local phone calls eventually will require dialing the full 10-digit number, The Columbus Dispatch (http://bit.ly/1BDy35g ) reported. The so-called "overlay" plan was approved by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio years ago, in 2001.
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Many customers aren't yet aware of the change, said Wayne Milby of the North American Numbering Plan Administration, which doesn't anticipate using the 380 code until late February 2016 or later.
Industry analyst Jeff Kagan told the newspaper that cellphone storage of contact information in a directory format has eased the transition when new area codes are introduced and 10-digit dialing becomes a requirement.
"There's no big deal. There's nothing that goes wrong," Kagan said. "In the beginning, people get confused and don't remember 10 digits. But most people don't remember any digits, because it's all on speed dial anymore."
Ohioans under the 740 area code may experience some confusion this year, as a new 220 code is added to their region starting in April because it was running out of phone numbers.
The Cincinnati, Cleveland and Dayton regions are expected to get additional area codes within a few years, the newspaper said.
Information from: The Columbus Dispatch, http://www.dispatch.com