State regulators are adding an area code to southern Indiana. The 'overlay' will allow existing customers to keep their current numbers. The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission says beginning in the second half of next year (2014), new phone numbers in the area may get either the current 812 code or the new 930 code. Prior to this week's announcement, 812 was the only area code in the state untouched since it was established in 1947.
The IURC says area codes for Indiana and the rest of the United States faced few changes from 1947, when they were established, until the 1990s, when cellular phones, fax machines, pagers and other technological advances created a rapid growth in the need for new telephone numbers. During the past 2 decades, “number depletion” has required Indiana and 35 other states to add new area codes. While 2 of Indiana’s original 3 area codes (219 and 317) have needed changes, short-term number conservation efforts have postponed the need for changes to the 812 area code.
Industry forecasts in the early 2000s predicted that the 812 area code would run out of numbers and need some form of long-term numbering relief by 2004. However, the state says they implemented number conservation efforts that delayed that need substantially. While number conservation has delayed the need for changes, industry forecasts now show the 812 area exhausting its supply of numbers in the second quarter of 2015.