The Illinois Commerce Commission has announced a new area code is coming to central Illinois.

The new 447 area code will "overlay" the existing 217 area code to address the depletion of prefixes available for assignment within the region.

The first prefix in the new area code will not be introduced until after March 29, 2021.

The 217 area code covers 36 counties in Illinois and includes communities such as Springfield, Champaign, Urbana, Decatur, Danville, Quincy and Rantoul.

Current phone customers will retain the original area code. New telephone customers for local phone service, cellular, paging services and alarms, assigned in the same area may receive telephone numbers in the new overlay area code.

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