447 will be new dialing prefix added to the 217 area code

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Illinois State House Capitol – Springfield

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A vast section of Illinois covered by the 217 area code is about to get some new digits.

The Illinois Commerce Commission announced this week that it will introduce 447 as an added dialing code to the 217 area.

The ICC decided in August 2006 to order this action at a point when available number combinations with the 217 prefix were exhausted.

Current phone numbers will not be changed. And even though the change ultimately will require using all 10 numbers of an exchange including the area code to make a call, local calls will remain local, without a land-line toll charge.

The change begins Saturday. For the next six months, calls within the 217 area code may continue to be made by using just the seven numbers following the area code, although the ICC recommends using 10 numbers, including the code.

On Feb. 21, 2021, local calls will require using all 10 numbers to connect.

Finally, on March 27, 2021, newly assigned numbers may come with a 447 area code.

There will be no change for connecting long-distance phone calls. They will require dialing 1, plus the area code and number.

Emergency calls will still be made by dialing 911.

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