Western Kentucky won’t be getting a new area code for at least another two years.
The region was slated for a rollout of the 364 area code to accommodate new phone numbers, but a government action has opened up thousands of unused numbers under the current 270 area code.
The FCC changed the regulations for number pooling, the process that lets phone companies hold large blocks of unused numbers. Under new regulations, companies must reserve phone numbers in smaller blocks. This will keep more numbers open for reassignment to new phones in the 270 area code.
The newly freed numbers can be used for land lines or mobile phones. With the economy slowing, fewer people are buying cellular phones or setting up new land lines.
“As we’ve seen nationally, I think every place has been effected by something of a slowdown in economic activity,” says Public Service Commission spokesperson Andrew Melnykovych. “Anytime you have that the demand for new numbers slows at well.”
Melnykovich says the change to number pooling is the main reason for the delay in the new area code. He predicts the 270 area code will have unused numbers until at least April 2010.