Remember back in the 1990’s when the world realized the long-standing standard of storing 2 digit years (04/24/16) in our computer systems and databases wasn’t going to work anymore? In case you hadn’t noticed, all of our “modern” systems now use a 4 digit standard (04/24/2016). A lot of risk, fear, work…and now, it’s just second nature to digitize 4 digit years!
Many of us still have the habit of writing phone numbers down as 7 digits, particularly if they are local. If our clients are mostly in our local area, we may also use 7 digit numbers at work.
In central Indiana (like in many large metropolitan areas), we are once again going to be forced to change our habits. Because of the growth in the number of calling devices, we need to add capacity for new phone numbers. To do so, we need a new area code!
If you ignore this, you could have problems auto-dialing from your contacts/phone list on your smartphone! Though not quite on the same scale, this will be a bit more personal…but easier to fix.
Small businesses and non-profits should pay attention – especially if you do not have full time staff looking after phone, security and other systems that store phone numbers). Again, not as risky or painful as Y2K – but a little bit of preparation will avoid issues.
The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) reminds residents that beginning Sept 17, 2016, all local calls in the 317 area code will require 10 digit dialing. You’ll need to dial 317 before the phone number in order to complete a local call. The new dialing pattern is necessary so that new telephone numbers can be added when needed. Starting October 17, 2016, new numbers will be assigned using either the 317 area code or the new 463 area code. OUCC notes that any safety and security equipement, including medical alert devices and alarm systems, must be programmed by September 17th to use 10-digit dialing. If you are not sure whether your equipment needs to be reprogrammed, contact your medical alert or security provider. Also, any advertising materials, signage, stationery or identification tags with 7 digit phone numbers will need to be updated to included the 317 area code. www.in.gov/oucc/2800.html