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Are you ready to start dialing 861? | FCC issues new area code as 309 runs out of numbers

A new area code will serve the 309 Region, which includes Moline, Rock Island, Galesburg and more.
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Are you ready to start dialing 861? Sometime in late 2022 or early 2023, the new area code will be introduced into the current 309 Region.

The Illinois Commerce Commission announced Monday, Nov. 29 the debut of the "overlay" 861 area code as phone numbers beginning with 309 are running out.

The 309 Region, according to the ICC news release, was created in 1957 and serves large portions of northwestern and northcentral Illinois. It includes most or all of Peoria, Rock Island, Tazewell, Knox, Henry, Woodford, Fulton and McDonough counties as well as the cities of Bloomington, Normal, Peoria, Moline, Rock Island, Pekin, Galesburg and more.

Under the "overlay," the 861 area code will be assigned to new customers requesting local phone, cell phone, paging or alarm service. All current 309 area customers will keep their numbers, according to the release, and customers seeking additional lines will likely be able to receive 309 numbers even after the implementation of the new area code.

CHANGES FOR NEW AND EXISTING COSTUMERS:

According to ICC, carriers are currently in the process of implementing the mandatory 10-digit dialing nationwide in preparation for the new 3-digit Nationwide Suicide Prevention Hotline, 988.

RELATED: FCC approves '988' as the suicide hotline number

The Federal Communications Commission will require calls be completed by dialing all 10 digits of a phone number.

Dialing both the area code and the 7-digit number, according to the FCC, is necessary to ensure the call reach the intended recipient. Calls dialed with just 7 digits will not be completed, and a recording will inform you that your call cannot be completed as dialed.