The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor is recommending the all-services overlay option for implementing a new telephone area code throughout southern and south-central Indiana.
A new area code will be needed because of the dwindling number supply for the 812 area code, which has remained largely unchanged since 1947.
The 812 area code is projected to exhaust its number supply in 2015.
If the new area code is implemented with an overlay, consumers throughout the 812 area will keep their existing phone numbers, while the new code will be used for new phones and services beginning in late 2014 or 2015.
The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission is considering whether to use an overlay or a geographic split to implement a new code for the 812 area.
It's expected to make a decision by the end of this year.
After a decision is made, the new area code will be phased in with the transition period lasting aabout one year.