Regulators suggest additional area code for southern Minnesota
As available phone numbers with the 507 area code dwindle, future customers in southern Minnesota will likely receive a phone number with a new area code, starting in 2025.
In a filing submitted Tuesday to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, the North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA) says numbers for the 507 area code are expected to run out by 2025 and that the area code “is in need of relief.”
To that end, the NANPA suggests an “all-services distributed overlay,” based on a 13-month schedule that would be completed at least six months before the numbers for the 507 code are exhausted. An overlay plan includes more than one area code and is used to increase the number of available phone numbers for new customers.
This type of option, the filing states, “is the most consumer-friendly method” because all existing customers would retain their current area code in the overlay area and would not have to change their phone numbers, though 10-digit local dialing would be required instead of seven-digit local dialing.
The NANPA also suggested an alternative plan, a geographic split of the current 507 area code region; one region maintaining the 507 code and the other being assigned a new code. However, this option comes with “additional technical and customer education issues that would complicate and prolong implementation,” the filing states.
During a meeting in July, consensus was reached to recommend the overlay plan.
According to the NANPA, the 507 code has been in service in southern Minnesota since 1954 and was the first area code added to the original 218 and 612 codes.
One Rochester man told Hubbard Broadcasting sister station KAAL-TV that the 507 code means so much to him that he had it tattooed on his leg.
“I’m really about this and this is my city and people here are about the same way. I really love Rochester, I want to support it, and they even put 507 on their body too,” Nathan Hoover, creative director for 507 Creative Collective, told KAAL.