IURC News Release

Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission

302 West Washington Street, Room 306

Indianapolis Indiana 46204

317.232.2297 office

317.233.1982 fax

www.state.in.us/iurc

 

Contact: Mary Beth Fisher

 

For Immediate Release

June 14, 2001

IURC SPLITS 219 AREA CODE

 

Today the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission approved an order, which will divide the 219 area code.

 

In Order No. 41535, the IURC split the Northern region of Indiana into three separate areas.

By a vote of 3 to 1 the Commissioners agree that trisecting the area will most effectively protect customers from the expense and inconvenience from the implementation of new area codes and make sure that all carriers have the numbering resources they need to compete in the marketplace. This solution is also the least disruptive in the long term, providing relief from congestion for the longest period of time, which is projected to be at least 20-years.

 

Numerous public hearings and educational meetings were held throughout northern Indiana in the last year as the Commission determined the best way to reallocate numbers. In those meetings it was clear that most residents and business interests recognized the need for area code relief, but all wished to continue using the existing 219 area code.

 

Guidelines call for the Commissioners to consider rate center distribution, unique demographics, population density, access lines, wireless codes assigned, and the relative size of the area when deciding how the numbers for the new plan areas will be allocated. Due to the similarity of the new regions there will be a drawing to determine which area will keep the 219 area code

 

The Area designated A includes such cities as: Gary, East Chicago, Michigan City, Valparaiso, and Rensselaer.

 

The Area designated B includes such cities as: South Bend, Elkhart, Winamac Logansport and Monticello.

 

The Area designated C includes such cities as: Lagrange, Fort Wayne, North Manchester, Silver Lake, Wabash, Warren and Portland.

 

At this time the Commission does not know what numbers will be assigned as the area codes for the newly drawn districts. The North American Number Plan Administrator will assign those numbers after this order is issued.

 

Growth of new homes, business and technology is behind the number crunch. The Commission opened an investigation to determine the best way to make new numbers available in the 219 area code in September of 1999, after it was made aware of the need for area code relief.

 

A rationing procedure has been in place since June 1999, and earlier this year the Commission ordered a number recovery in the 219 area code.

 

Telephone providers will have 180 days to educate customers and implement the changes. There will be 6-months of permissive dialing.

 

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