Indiana had three telephone area codes from the mid-1950s until the mid-1990s: 219, 317 & 812.
Today, the state has six area codes with a seventh to go into effect in October 2014.
Indiana’s telecommunications trends in the 1990s mirrored those throughout North America. With wireless phones, pagers, fax machines, home computers with Internet connections, and other new technologies being launched, consumers started to need new phone numbers at an unprecedented rate. Efforts to conserve existing number supplies and prolong the life spans of area codes have been successful. However, the only way to provide new numbers in the long run has been to introduce new area codes.
The number of area codes throughout the United States, Canada and the Caribbean has more than doubled since 1995, with Indiana, 38 other states and eight of the ten Canadian provinces adding new area codes. While the need for new numbers continues, the pace has slowed dramatically over the last decade because of number conservation efforts that make more efficient use of existing number supplies and have delayed the need to implement many new area codes.
The most significant number conservation effort in Indiana is "1,000 block number pooling," which the state started using in 2001. Traditionally, telecommunications providers were allocated blocks of 10,000 numbers, which often left numbers unused. Now, numbers can be allocated in blocks of only 1,000. The use of 1,000 block number pooling has significantly delayed the need for new area codes in most of Indiana.
After efficiency efforts are exhausted, a new area code must be implemented. Two primary methods have been used.
The geographic split was the primary method of implementing new area codes throughout the United States and Canada before 2005. Under this method, an existing area code zone is split into at least two parts. One part typically keeps the original area code while the other part(s) is assigned a new area code. A geographic split does not change the boundaries of a consumer’s free local calling area. Most local calls are still placed using seven-digit dialing.
The overlay has been the primary method of implementing new area codes since 2005 and the only method used in the United States since 2008. With this method, a new area code "overlays" the entire geographic area covered by the existing area code. Existing phone numbers, fax machines, etc., retain current area codes and phone numbers, but new phones and telecommunications devices may be assigned numbers using the new area code. An overlay does not change the boundaries of a consumer’s free local calling area, but all calls - including free local calls - usually require 10-digit dialing.
930 & 812
The new 930 area code will be added throughout southern and south-central Indiana in 2014 and will overlay the 812 area code that is projected to run out of numbers in 2015.
Forecasts in the early 2000s projected that 812 would run out of numbers in 2004, but 1,000 block number pooling and other conservation efforts have extended 812’s lifespan by a decade.
Once 930 is implemented, southern Indiana is not expected to need any additional area code changes for at least another 70 years.
For more information on how 930 will be implemented and the year-long IURC case regarding 812, please see the OUCC’s 930: A New Area Code For Indiana fact sheet.
The 317 area code for Indianapolis and most of its suburbs is projected to run out of numbers in 2017. An industry request to add a new area code is pending before the IURC.
Number conservation efforts have extended the 317 area code’s lifespan by more than 15 years over earlier projections.
The 765 area code, serving most of central Indiana outside the Indianapolis metropolitan area, was split from 317 in 1996.
Number conservation efforts have pushed 765’s projected exhaust date to 2029, a 25-year extension beyond projections made a few years ago.
219 and the two area codes split from it in 2001 – 260 and 574 – are expected to need no additional changes before 2039.
* Projections in this fact sheet are according to North American Numbering Plan Administration (NANPA) data released in April 2014. NANPA is the neutral, third party administrator that oversees area code assignments. For additional information on area code relief, as well as state maps of area codes in North America, visit NANPA’s Website at http://www.nanpa.com/.