SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Officials are planning to activate a new area code next year in southern Illinois.

Illinois will move forward with the 730 area code next year, which will accompany the existing 618 area code that includes much of the Metro East. Currently, the 618 area code covers parts of 37 counties in Illinois, including Alton, Belleville, Cairo, Carbondale, Centralia, East St. Louis, Edwardsville and Marion.

According to the Illinois Commerce Commission, the 730 area code is meant to address the decreasing availability of new ‘618’ numbers within the region. The first number with the new area code will not be activated until after July 7, 2023. Future customers with a 730 area code will be required to dial ten digits to make a phone call.

The Illinois Commerce Commission says numbers currently using the 618 area code will not change, nor will the coverage area or costs of a call.

The 618 area code is one of the original 86 area codes in the United States, assigned by Bell Laboratories in 1947. It has not undergone any substantive changes to its boundaries since then, leading to plans for a 730 area code.

For more information on the upcoming change, click here.