On Friday the Arkansas Public Service Commission said it has approved 327 as a new area code “overlay” for the state’s 870 telephone area code region.
The commission said the “870 area code is projected to exhaust its numbering supply during the first quarter of 2025” and that the new 327 area code is necessary “to ensure a continuing supply of telephone numbers” in a news release.
The commission stated all existing 870 area code customers “will retain their current area code in the overlay area and their telephone numbers will not be changed, however the addition of the new area code will require 10-digit dialing for all local calls.”
The 501 area code region already has 10-digit dialing according to the release.
There will be a six-month permissive dialing period starting July 21 when local calls can be made with either 7 or 10 digits, “and all calls that are local will continue to be local even though you dial 10 digits.” the commission stated.
Starting January 19, 2024, callers must use the area code plus the telephone number on all calls, including calls within the same area code.
The 870 area code covers the northern, eastern, and southern portions of Arkansas to include El Dorado, Mountain Home, Jonesboro, Pine Bluff, Monticello, and Magnolia.
The new 327 area code will serve the same area.
The commission said it originally adopted an overlay plan for the 870 area code in 2009, but delayed the implementation of the overlay because of the “effectiveness of telephone number conservation efforts.”