When dealing with 10-digit numbers, there are only so many possible combinations that can occur before every series is used up.

That’s exactly what telecommunications experts are saying has happened within the 812 area code, and by 2015, they predict that Southern Indiana will run out of telephone numbers.

To remedy the situation, the telecom industry has submitted a proposal to state utility mandates to ask permission to implement a new “overlay” code to the 812 area, according to a news release from the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor.

So, what exactly is an overlay code?

It is an additional area code added to a geographic area that will allow customers that already have the 812 area code to keep it, while new customers, phones and devices will be designated a new three-digit code.

According to the news release, a formal request has been made, and it is now pending approval from the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission.

Public hearings on this matter are said to begin in early 2013.

[Courier Press]