To ensure a continuing supply of telephone numbers, the Illinois Commerce Commission has approved an all-services overlay for the 309 area code. The 309 area code serves the west-central portion of the state, including all or part of Bureau, Dewitt, Fulton, Hancock, Henderson, Henry, Knox, Marshall, Mason, McDonough, McLean, Mercer, Peoria, Rock Island, Schuyler, Stark, Tazewell, Warren, Whiteside, and Woodford counties. The 309 area code serves cities and communities such as Bloomington, Canton, East Moline, East Peoria, Galesburg, Macomb, Moline, Normal, Pekin, Peoria, and Rock Island, as well as many other smaller communities. The new 861 area code will serve the same geographic area currently served by the 309 area code.
What is an Area Code Overlay?
An overlay is the addition of another area code (861) to the same geographic region as an existing area code (309). The overlay does not require you to change your existing area code or phone number, or how you dial your calls. You will continue to dial the area code and phone number for all local calls, as you do today, within and between the 309 and 861 area codes.
Who is affected and when does the new 861 area code become effective?
Beginning February 24, 2023, customers in the 309 area code region may be assigned a number in the new 861 area code when they request new service or an additional line. Customers receiving the 861 area code will be required to dial the area code and phone number for all local calls, just as customers with telephone numbers from the 309 area code do today.
What will you need to do?
Customers in the overlay region should:
- Continue to dial 10 digits for all local calls, including calls within the same area code.
- Continue to identify your telephone number as a 10-digit number, and include the area code when giving the number to friends, family, business associates, customers, etc.
- Ensure that all services, automatic dialing equipment, or other types of equipment recognize the new 861 area code as a valid area code and continue to store or program telephone numbers as 10-digit numbers. Some examples are: stored telephone numbers in contact lists in wireless phones, PBXs, fax machines, Internet dial-up numbers, speed dialers, call forwarding settings, voicemail services, medical alert devices, safety alarm security systems and gates, ankle monitors and or other similar equipment.
- Check items such as your website, personal and business stationery, printed checks, advertising materials, contact information, and your personal or pet ID tags to ensure the area code is included.
What will remain the same?
- Your telephone number, including current area code, will not change.
- The price of a call, coverage area, or other rates and services will not change due to the overlay.
- What is a local call now will remain a local call.
- You will continue to dial 10 digits for local calls within and between the overlay area codes, and 1+10 digits for long distance calls.
- You can still dial just three digits to reach 911 and 988, as well as 211, 311, 411, 511, 611, 711 or 811 if those are currently available in your community.
Who may you contact with questions?
If you have any questions regarding information provided in this notice, please call New Windsor Telephone Company at 309-667-2712 or access www.nwtelephone.com for more information. You may also visit the Illinois Commerce Commission website at https://www.icc.illinois.gov/programs/Area-Codes.