West Virginia PSC Makes Right Call on Area Code Overlay Decision

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Rescinding its Jan. 29 order, the West Virginia Public Service Commission (PSC) today decided that the new area code for the state would be an overlay to the existing 304 area code.  Numerous parties, including Verizon, other local telephone providers, the commission staff and the Consumer Advocate Division, all had favored and recommended an all-services overlay over the commission's original geographic split.  The following statement should be attributed to B. Keith Fulton, president of Verizon West Virginia.

"The commission's unanimous decision to implement an overlay for West Virginia's new area code is the right call because it will minimize disruption for consumers and businesses across the state.

"An overlay treats all customers equally and assigns new area code numbers to new customers only, allowing existing customers to keep their existing numbers.

"With an overlay, customers will dial 10 digits to make a call, but this has become common with the proliferation of cell phones and new technologies as consumers have become increasingly mobile.

"We commend the commission for acting quickly and in the best interests of West Virginians statewide."