New area code in the works

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Parts of southeastern Ohio will be getting a new area code in 2015, state regulators said.

There aren’t enough numbers in the 740 area code to accommodate the demand, so the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio said it will introduce a new one.

The commission has begun to ask people for input on how the new code should be added.

The state is looking at two options. The overlay option would allow those in the 740 area code to retain their number, but they’d have to use all 10 digits when calling within the area code. New numbers would be assigned the new area code.

The split plan would divide the geographic area in half, with half of them assigned the new area code. PUCO said it would not choose which half would keep the 740 numbers until after the overlay/split decision is made.

The public will have until Nov. 27 to vote or comment on which option it prefers. PUCO will then make a ruling and implement it.

A federal agency called the North American Numbering Program Administration says the 740 area code will run out of numbers by early 2015.