Remember To Dial 217 First Starting Saturday

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Beginning Saturday, Feb. 27, all local calls made within the 217 area code will need to be placed using the ten-digit telephone number, the Illinois Commerce Commission insreminding.

On Feb. 27, the 447 area code will be added as an overlay to the region currently served by area code 217 to ensure a continuing supply of telephone numbers for the area. An overlay does not require customers to change their existing area code or telephone number.

Beginning Saturday, March 27, new telephone lines or services may be assigned numbers using the 447 area code.

The most important facts for consumers to know about the upcoming 217/447 area code overlay are current telephone numbers, including current area code, will not change. For those seeking new phone service after March 27, they may be assigned a phone number with the 447 area code.

Also, individuals will need to dial the area code plus the telephone number for all local calls. Callers will continue to dial “1” plus the area code plus the telephone number for all long distance calls.

Current calls will remain a local call. The price of a call, coverage area, or other rates and services will not change due to the overlay. Callers can still dial just three digits to reach 911. Individuals can also dial three digits to reach 211 and 811, as well as 311 and 511, where available.

Customers should ensure all services, automatic dialing equipment, applications, software or other types of equipment recognize the new 447 area code as a valid area code. Examples include like-safety systems, fax machines, internet dial-up numbers, alarm and security systems, gates, ankle monitors, speed dialers, mobile phone contact lists, call forwarding settings, voicemail services and similar functions. Be sure to check business stationery, advertising materials, personal checks and personal or pet I.D. tags to ensure the area code is included in the telephone number.

Important safety and security equipment, such as medical alert devices, and alarm and security systems must be programmed to use ten-digit dialing. Many systems operate on ten-digit dialing by default, but some older equipment may still use seven digits. Contact the medical alert or security provider if unsure whether equipment needs to be reprogrammed to accommodate the upcoming change to ten-digit local dialing. Any needed reprogramming of alarm and home security equipment should be completed by Saturday, Feb. 27.

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