Anyone in the 217 area code?

When I originally purchased my phone, I was assigned an 815 area code. I live in the 217 area code (which is 25% of middle Illinois) so most people won’t even answer my calls unless I already have told them of my 'weird" number. I’ve attempted to change to a 217 number recently - when it came up in the transfer list - only to have it assigned another (224) area code.

It looks like Republic doesn’t own a block of numbers in 217 to assign. Is there another way yo get there? I’m told a strategy is to buy a T-Mobile SIM card, and use that number. Has anyone gone that route?

I don’t think you’re going to have much luck getting a 217 number for use with your Republic Wireless phone. For the record, you’re not the first to ask this question:

Can i get a telephone number with a 217 area code?

Hi @robertp.ifxarn,

If you’re okay with a 217 number located in West Dana, you can indeed procure that number. To do so:

  1. Start Here: Phones | Republic Wireless.
  2. Click the green “I Want To Bar” underneath the phone whose number you wish to change.
  3. Click “Change My Number”
  4. Enter State and Area Code.
  5. You should see number availability at 217-803.

As for why it’s West Dana or bust. Republic, like all service providers, relies on a Local Exchange Carrier (LEC) to host phone numbers. LEC is telephone industry jargon for phone company. Republic uses Bandwidth.com, as its’ LEC. Bandwidth needs to have a “presence” in the rate center where the number you wish to acquire is located. A rate center is a geographic area, usually but not always a city or town. The rate center a number is located in is determined by the area code and prefix (first six digits) of that phone number. No carrier has presence in every rate center. Bandwidth has presence in most but not all rate centers. The only rate center in the 217 area code where Bandwidth has the required presence is West Dana.

An analogy that might help make sense of this. I grew up in Massachusetts where Papa Gino’s is a popular place to get pizza. Now that I’m in Florida as much as I’d like to purchase a Papa Gino’s pizza, I’m unable to do so because they have no restaurants (presence) here.

Tried the West Dana option twice Monday. Took my request, and assigned me to 224… the Help desk changed my number back. at my request.

West Dana is an incredibly small rate center (two exchanges 803 and 666). I walked through the process up to but not including actually changing my number prior to posting this morning. At least then, there appeared to be available numbers in the 803 exchange. Perhaps, they come and go?

Unfortunately, the T-Mobile workaround you referenced won’t work as none of the big 4 wireless carriers have presence in the West Dana rate center. You may take a look for yourself as to who does here and here. Republic gets its’ numbers from Bandwidth, so you’d need to acquire a number from one of the other carriers with presence (if possible) then transfer (port) it to Republic. A few available in the 666 exchange here but they’re not cheap.

ETA: Looks like Callcentric could be a source of acquisition, however, you’d need to sign up long enough to obtain then transfer the number. Though Callcentric can source numbers throughout the 217 area code only a number in West Dana will transfer to Republic. Looks like they can secure one in West Dana in a business day. I do business with Callcentric, great folks.

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