Thursday, August 12, 1999

Cross-river call will require extra digit

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        More than a river and a new area code will separate Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky phone users come April 1. They will have to dial 10 digits — the area code followed by the number — when making a call between Northern Kentucky and the Cincinnati area.

        It will not, however, be a toll call. Callers will not have to dial a “1” before the area code.

area codes
        The change will come the same day Northern Kentucky's area code officially switches from 606 to 859.

        “This was going to happen no matter what,” said Tressie Long, a Cincinnati Bell Telephone spokeswoman. “The 513 area code is running out of numbers, and more prefixes are needed to handle the growth we're seeing. A way to accomplish that is have 10-digit calling.”

        Steve Stevens, interim president of the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, said 10-digit dialing “is just going to compound the problem we're already going to face with the changing of the area code.”

        Calls made within a state won't require the 10-digit dialing, but calls across state lines will, said Scott Potter, chief of telecommunications for the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, or PUCO.

        The PUCO is being told by the federal government it has to order the 10-digit dialing soon to free more phone numbers in the area, Mr. Potter said.

        Cincinnati Bell thinks the change is coming April 1 and is making preparations.

        Northern Kentucky's new 859 code will take effect April 1, when customers can dial either the current 606 area code or the new one. The new code will become mandatory the following Oct. 1.

        Cincinnati Bell plans to formally protest the area code change. Business and political leaders are also organizing oppositionto the change.

Wednesday story: Bell, airport lead campaign against new area code

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