Regulators approve new area code for central Illinois

Springfield, Ill. – Illinois is getting another new area code.

The state Commerce Commission has approved a second number for the 217 area in central Illinois. At some point, when 217 numbers run out, 447 will start being used.

That's predicted to happen some time in 2009.

Using two codes in the same geographic area means every call will require punching in the area code and the phone number - 10 numbers in all.

Last year, the Illinois Commerce Commission approved a new area code for southern Illinois. The 730 area code, though, would not start being used before 2008. Existing numbers will get to keep their current area code, 618.