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PSC Cancels New Area Code in Western Kentucky

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Dec. 13, 2010) – The Kentucky Public Service Commission ( PSC ) has vacated its decision to create a new area code in far western Kentucky because there is no longer any immediate need to increase the availability of new telephone numbers in the region.

If such a need arises in the future, the process of establishing a new area code will start again from scratch, the PSC said in an order issued today,

The implementation of the new area code, designated as 364, has been delayed five times as the need for new numbers has dwindled, both because of declining demand and due to changes in the process by which new numbers are assigned.

The latest projections show no need for a new area code until late 2014. Because that is beyond the time frame needed to implement new area codes, a cancellation makes more sense than another postponement, PSC Chairman David Armstrong said.

“Today’s decision ends the ongoing uncertainty over when a split of area code 270 would occur,” Armstrong said. “Restarting the process when needed is going to be far less disruptive to residents and businesses.”

The PSC began the process of creating a new area code in western Kentucky in 2006, when the North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA), which oversees the distribution of phone numbers, projected area code 270 would run out of numbers by late 2008.

After holding a series of meetings to receive public comments, the PSC decided to split area code 270, with the eastern portion retaining the current area code. Cities designated to remain in area code 270 included Bowling Green , Columbia , Glasgow , Elizabethtown and Owensboro . Area code 364 was to cover the western portion of the current area code 270, including the cities of Henderson , Hopkinsville , Madisonville , Murray and Paducah .

However, on May 31, 2007 – a few hours after the PSC ordered the split – the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) granted the PSC ’s long-standing request for a change in the way in which telephone numbers in area code 270 are allocated to telecommunication providers by NANPA. The FCC decision allowed the PSC to require a procedure known as “number pooling,” which was intended to free up thousands of unused telephone numbers.

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