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By Michael Boyd Jr.
STE. GENEVIEVE HERALD
Introducing the new 235 area code, the baby brother to the 573.
Don’t worry. Nothing is going to change, but it is coming soon.
According to the North American Numbering Plan (NANP), everyone still gets to keep their same 10 digits of their phone numbers, unlike the last time so many years ago when the region switch to 573 from 314.
The 235 area code will serve the same geographic area currently served by the existing 573 area code.
The reasons for the new area code varies, but mainly due to the 573 running out of numbers, because of the increase in new cellular numbers and new businesses.
The 235 will be a new overlay to the 573 area code, which only means that brand new phone numbers – landlines, cell phones, businesses and services – may receive the 235 instead of the 573 area code.
That all starts March 24, 2024.
An overlay does not require customers to change their existing area code but does require using a new dialing procedure to complete local calls.
Anyone with a 573 area code telephone number will be affected. The new 235 area code will serve the same geographic area currently served by the existing 573 area code, which currently serves the southeastern side of Missouri from Ste. Genevieve County to the Bootheel Region’s Dunklin/Pemiscot counties. It also will affect the northeastern part of Missouri and mid-Missouri.
That includes communities such as Ste. Genevieve, Sikeston, Poplar Bluff, Perryville, Cape Girardeau, Farmington, New Madrid and Kennett, as well as mid-Missouri communities of Jefferson City, Columbia, Fort Leonard Wood, Rolla, and many other smaller communities. Hannibal and other parts of northeastern Missouri also are in the 573/235 code range.
MUST DIAL 10 DIGITS
But as Missouri gets ready for the new area code, local calls now require dialing all 10 digits, much like cell phones, from now on.
The new dialing procedure will require all calls in the 573 area code that are currently dialed with seven digits be dialed using area code plus telephone number (10 digits).
The same dialing procedure will apply to telephone numbers that are assigned in the new 235 area code.
This all started on Aug. 26. Local callers should have started dialing the area code plus the telephone number whenever a call is placed. So far, if a caller forgets to dial all 10 digits for an intown call, the call still should be completed.
But not for long.
Beginning Feb. 24, callers will have no choice but to dial all 10 digits regardless if it is with the 573 or 235 code. From that point, dialing only the seven digits phone number without the area code will no longer go through.
A recorded message will instruct you to dial all 10 digits to complete a phone call.
The new area code will not affect dialing emergency numbers such as 911, or 988 (mental health/suicide crisis lifeline), or other information numbers such as 811 (call before you dig), 211 (free info), 311 (non-emergency issues), 411 (basic info), 511 (travel info), 611 and 711 (hearing impaired).
“As far as when 911 comes into play, (the new area code) is not affecting it whatsoever,” 911 Director Alan Wells said. “Of course, wireless devices are location technology as to where the signal is coming or located at, and the landline telephone is tied to a numeric address. So there again, this is not going to affect how we locate people. The biggest thing, you know, local citizens may be a little confused when they first see that number and may be concerned about answering it because they’ll think it’s an area outside of their local jurisdictions.”
NOTHING ELSE CHANGES
Everything else stays the same, according to the NANP.
Telephone numbers for 573 stay the same. Only new numbers will receive the 235 code.
The price of a phone 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 regardless of the number of digits dialed.