Looming phone number shortage drives debate



NORTH VERNON

People who live in the 812 telephone area code will have a chance to share their opinions Wednesday in North Vernon on how the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission should respond to a looming shortage of phone numbers.

More than 35 states including Indiana have had to add new area codes over the past two decades due to an expanding number of wireless phones, pagers and other technological advances. Since the 812 area code is running low on available numbers, an additional three-digit code will have to be designated for southern Indiana.

Representatives of the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor will outline the situation, options and other details at 5:30 p.m. in the Jennings County Middle School auditorium, 820 W. Walnut St. Then, at 6 p.m., the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission will listen to public comments.

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