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By Sarah Bennett
Landmark News Service
Beginning Aug. 3, phone customers in the 270 area code region may place calls by dialing seven or 10 digits in preparation for the roll out of an additional area code.
The option to use seven digits ends Jan. 31, 2014, after which customers will be required to dial 10 digits when placing local calls, according to a news release. To dial long distance, callers must add a 1.
Even though use of 10 digits will be required, no additional fees are applied. A local call will remain local, according to the release.
In December, the Kentucky Public Services Commission ordered an area code overlay for the 270 code region, which covers western Kentucky, including Elizabethtown, Bowling Green and Owensboro.
The code overlay means those with the existing area code will not be required to acquire a new phone number when the fresh code, 364, is introduced.
Beginning March 3, 2014, customers in the region who request new service — such as an additional line — may be assigned a 364 area code.
Allison Willoughby, general manager at Brandenburg Telephone Company, said there is nearly 100,000 possible phone numbers available for an area code.
While not all potential numbers in the 270 region are assigned, she said the available numbers are nearing exhaustion.
“They want to assign another area code before it’s depleted,” Willoughby said.
Editor’s note: Reprinted through the Kentucky Press News Service.