CENTRAL ILLINOIS (WCIA) — As of today, the way you make phone calls is changing.
The Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) made the official announcement that all local calls made within the Illinois 217 Area Code will have to be placed using the 10-digit telephone number (area code + the 7-digit telephone number).
This is because starting on March 27, new telephone lines or services could be assigned numbers with the new 447 area code.
An important thing to note is that your current telephone number will not change. However, if you seek new phone service after March 27, you just might be assigned a phone number with the 447 area code instead.
Danielle Doo lives in Champaign. She said that the 217 is a big part of the city’s identity. She also worries that this change might cause confusion for some long-time residents. “I could see it affecting people who are older. They’re not used to just pushing a contact in their phone, but instead they’re used to dialing a number. If they have to dial 217 or dial the new 447 area code, it could be confusing for them.”
The 10-digit number can be used for all local calls, but to make a long-distance call, you will have to dial the number “1” before dialing the area code.