Area codes 270 and 364
Area code 270 serves the Commonwealth of Kentucky's western counties. Area code 270 was split from area code 502 on April 19, 1999. Planning for the introduction of a second area code for the region, area code 364, began in 2007. After several years of delay, it was announced in December 2012 that the second code would be introduced as an overlay in August 2013, with mandatory 10-digit dialing within the geographic region beginning on February 1, 2014. Numbers in area code 364 were made available for assignment on March 3, 2014.
The creation of 270 was intended as a long-term solution. However, within only five years, 270 was already close to exhaustion due to the proliferation of cell phones and pagers. In 2006, Kentucky officials announced that 270 would run out of numbers in late 2007. On May 31, 2007, the Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) announced that 270 would be split along the Pennyrile Parkway, with a newly created area code (later announced to be 364), serving western Kentucky, with west-central Kentucky retaining 270. This announcement indicated that permissive dialing of the new area code would begin on April 1, 2008, with mandatory dialing of the new area code on October 1, 2008. Among the communities remaining in the 270 area code were: Bowling Green, Owensboro, and Elizabethtown. Communities that were to begin using 364 included Madisonville, Hopkinsville, Henderson, Murray, and Paducah, and the Kentucky portion of the Fort Campbell Army base. The PSC did note that mandatory number pooling, recently imposed on the region, may delay the implementation of the new code. Surprisingly, the 502 and 859 area codes, which serve the urban areas of Louisville (502) and Lexington and Northern Kentucky (both 859), were not expected to exhaust until 2017 at the earliest, even though they have fewer numbers than 270.
On June 13, 2007, the PSC announced that the new area code will be 364, but also announced that the previously announced implementation dates would be changed due to number conservation measures including expanded number pooling. On June 15, 2007, the PSC postponed the permissive dialing of the new 364 area code to October 1, 2008. Mandatory dialing to the new area code was changed as well, but the actual date was to be determined later by the PSC. On November 1, 2007, the PSC again postponed permissive dialing of the new 364 area code, this time to January 1, 2009. On March 31, 2008, the PSC again postponed permissive dialing of the new 364 area code, to April 1, 2010. A date for mandatory dialing to 364 was left undetermined.
On June 2, 2009, the PSC again postponed permissive dialing of the new 364 area code, to January 1, 2012. Mandatory dialing to 364 was still left undetermined. The split was suspended indefinitely on August 13, 2010 with no permissive dialing date. In December 2010, relief was suspended completely and was believed to be dead. These subsequent delays of the implementation of the 270 / 364 area code split were due to further use of number conservation measures, including mandatory and expanded number pooling, as well as a weakened economy and a reduced usage of telephone numbers dedicated for use by computer and fax modems.
On September 27, 2012, the PSC announced that all number conservation options had been exhausted, and the implementation of 364 could no longer be delayed. According to the PSC, NANPA projected the 270 region would exhaust by the first quarter of 2014. NANPA recommended that instead of the original proposal for a split, 364 should be implemented as an overlay for the 270 region. Under the NANPA proposal, existing 270 numbers would be retained by customers, but 10-digit dialing for local calls would be required across western Kentucky. The PSC would also consider an alternate proposal to split the 270 area code region. "Splitting the area code in two avoids ten digit dialing but requires changing all current area code 270 numbers within the new area code to 364. That includes numbers assigned to wireless devices," said Andrew Melnykovych, Director of Communications for the PSC. The commission announced plans to hold public meetings throughout the 270 region the next month to explain the options and receive public comment. The commission also said that it will accept comments on the industry's overlay proposal for the 270 region up through November 16.
|Kentucky area codes: 270/364, 502, 606, 859|
|North: 618, 812/930, 502, 859|
|West: 618, 573||Area code 270/364||East: 502, 606|
|South: 731, 931, 615/629|
|Missouri area codes: 314, 417, 573, 636, 660, 816|
|Illinois area codes: 217, 224, 309, 312, 331, 618, 630, 708, 773, 779, 815, 847, 872|
|Indiana area codes: 219, 260, 317, 574, 765, 812/930|
|Tennessee area codes: 423, 615(/629), 731, 865, 901, 931|
- "Planning Letter 155: Split of 502 Numbering Plan Area (NPA) in Kentucky" (PDF). Lockheed Martin (North American Numbering Plan Administration). February 1, 1999. Retrieved January 11, 2013.
- "PSC Selects Overlay for New Area Code in Western Kentucky" (PDF) (Press release). Kentucky Public Service Commission. December 17, 2012. Retrieved January 11, 2013.
- Howington, Patrick (13 Dec 2010). "Planned new Western Kentucky area code cancelled". Courier-Journal. Retrieved 4 Jan 2014.(subscription required)