Last 937 phone numbers being assigned as new area code nears

As 2020 begins, Miami Valley residents should be making preparations for a new area code coming to the region in a few months. The new 326 area code will roll out March 8. STAFF PHOTO / SARAH FRANKS

The last 937 area code numbers are being assigned to phone carriers in the Miami Valley, and a new area code will be rolled out in about two months.

The new 326 area code will overlay the existing code beginning March 8. An overlay means new phone subscribers will be affected, but all current 937 area code subscribers will continue to maintain their current numbers.

Brittany Waugaman, spokeswoman for the Public Utilities Company of Ohio, said as of Thursday about 28 blocks of numbers are left in the 937 code. Each block corresponds to 10,000 numbers.

Initial report: 937 filling up: New phone area code coming to our area

“The 937 area code will continue to be issued until it is exhausted,” Waugaman said. “There’s no specific ruling at this time on whether they will issue those 937 numbers before the new 326 numbers.”

The switch is still a couple months away, but cell users in the area need to begin dialing the area code, plus the 7-digit number beginning Feb. 8. After then, if a caller does not use the new dialing procedures, the call will not go through and a recording will instruct the user to hang up and dial again.

The first 937 area code started service in the Miami Valley on Sept. 28, 1996, according to the North American Numbering Plan administrator.

Matt Schilling, PUCO spokesman, said there are 7.92 million possible phone numbers in any given area code.

“If anything, it’s one of those things that’s a good indication of a good economy and growing community,” said Greene County Commissioner Tom Koogler of the area code overlay.

Local businesses have not expressed many concerns because they won’t need to make signage changes or adjust business contact information on advertising, Koogler said.

When Dayton experienced a wholesale change from the 513 area code to 937 in 1996, Koogler said there was some confusion amid the transition.

Miami Valley prepares for added area code, 10-digit dialing

Except for the new requirement to complete the full 10-digit dialing, Greene County Administrator Brandon Huddleston said the county anticipates a smoother transition than it saw in 1996.

“A lot of things have phone numbers that you don’t think about,” Waugaman said.

Land lines and cell service will be affected by the area code change, as well as ATMs, credit card readers, security systems and Life Alert type programs, according to Schilling.

Since PUCO announced the need for a new area code in May 2018, a committee of phone carriers, local emergency services departments and PUCO officials have met once a month to plan for a smooth transition.

Area code 326 will serve west-central Ohio to the north and east of Cincinnati, including the communities of Beavercreek, Centerville, Oakwood, Dayton, Fairborn, Huber Heights, Kettering, Piqua, Riverside, Sidney, Springfield, Trotwood, Troy and Xenia, in addition to many smaller communities within the area.

The PUCO Call Center at (800) 686-PUCO is available to assist customers having problems with their utility services as well, Schilling said.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT NEW AREA CODE

Current phone numbers will not change. The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio has listed a few more important facts about the area code overlay:

  • Calls currently considered local calls will remain local calls. Calls between 937 and the new 326 are local calls.
  • Long-distance calling will not change.
  • 911 and other three-digit numbers (211, 311, 411, 811, etc.), if available in the local community, will not change.
  • Customers should begin or continue to identify their phone number with the area code.
  • Customers are encouraged to update any saved contacts, speed dials, business cards, personal checks, pre-programmed alarm devices, etc. to include the area code + telephone number format.

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