New area code coming to Western Kentucky using "overlay" method
PADUCAH, Ky.— The people at The Kentucky Public Service Commission have seemingly made up their minds about a new area code for Western Kentucky after years of going back and forth about it.
This year, the PSC learned Western Kentucky will run out of new phone numbers by 2014 if they don't start using a new area code. As a result, the PSC decided to introduce area code 364 using a method called "overlay" Monday morning.
For years, Paducah Area Transit buses have advertised for themselves and other businesses showcasing their phone numbers beginning with 270. They know their investment hinges on one single decision by the Kentucky PSC. "Our phone numbers are listed on our vehicles in three or four different places. That would require a complete graphics changes in a lot of instances to accommodate a new area code," said PATS Executive Director Arthur Boykin.
Boykin said he has 51 buses in rotation every day. A graphics change for just one of them would cost a couple thousand dollars. "You do the math. It's not quite as simple any more when you're an organization that's struggling to have organizational dollars," he said.
Monday morning, PSC Director of Communications Andrew Melnykovych announced the news Boykin had been waiting on. Western Kentucky will use overlay to relieve the 270 area code. "The decision means that all area code 270 numbers will remain unchanged. Anyone with that area code can keep it," said Melnykovych.
In response to the news, Boykin said, "I'm happy about it, but more bordering on elated to the fact that we will not have to change."
For Boykin, the good news doesn't stop there. He says the change proves Western Kentucky is growing. He said, "Hopefully, I think this is a sign of good things to happen here in Western Kentucky."
Area code 364 and 270 will be used in the same geographical area. That means every time you pick up the phone, you will have to dial the area code and the number to get person you're trying to reach. 10-digit dialing will also be required for all calls into and out of of the area code 270 boundary. The overlay affects both land line and wireless services.
10-digit dialing will become mandatory in February of 2014. The first 364 numbers will be handed out in March of that year.
There will be a transition period known as "permissive dialing" starting in August of next year and running until January of 2014. During that time, you can make a local call using either 10 or seven-digit dialing.