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Local calls to require area code

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

The way many Chilton County residents call their neighbors is about to change.

The Alabama Public Service Commission has announced plans for creating another area code for the same geographic area as the 205 area code region, which includes the majority of Chilton County.

“The most recent NRUF (numbering resources utilization forecast) shows that telephone number resources for area code 205 are forecasted to exhaust in the year 2020. Action must be taken to introduce a new area code into the geographic boundary associated with area code 205 prior to its exhaust,” according to a “Frequently Asked Questions” sheet released by APSC.

The implementation of the overlay will mean everyone with a 205 area code will need to dial the area code when making a call after Oct. 12.

Residents are encouraged to begin dialing the area code when making calls starting April 13 to be ready for the mandatory switch.

The new area code created by the overlay, 659, goes into effect on Nov. 12.

All phone numbers will remain the same. The new area code will only be assigned to new telephone numbers.

The Alabama Public Service Commission advises that any devices programmed to make calls with only seven digits will need to be upgraded to include the area code.

This includes any “automated dialing equipment, safety systems, business private branch exchange (PBX) equipment, fax machines, programmed numbers for dial-up internet service, alarm and security systems or gates, speed dialers, call forwarding settings, voice mail services,” according to the APSC.