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UPDATE: Corporation Commissioners Focus on New Area Code (Nov 18, 2010)

TULSA, Okla. (AP) - The Oklahoma Corporation Commission says the time is nearing when local calls in parts of the state will require 10-digit dialing.

The commission voted earlier this year in favor of an "overlay" plan for the new 539 area code, which is being added to the existing geographic 918 area code that includes most of eastern and northeastern Oklahoma, including metropolitan Tulsa.

Officials from the state agency spoke in Tulsa on Thursday in an effort to remind people that the so-called "permissive" dialing period, during which customers can use either 7-digit or 10-digit dialing, will end on March 5.

New 539 area code numbers will be made available starting April 1.

The area now served by the 918 area code is expected to run out of telephone numbers sometime in the fourth quarter of 2012.

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