October 23, 2014

PSC delays 274 area code

A new telephone area code for northeast Wisconsin is being delayed indefinitely.

The State Public Service Commission was planning to make all new phones in the 920 region use an area code of 274. The switch would make all phone customers dial 10-digits when making a call, even if the other number was right across the street. However, the PSC says it’s delaying the change because it will take longer than expected for all phone numbers in the old 920 area code to be used up.

The agency says the stagnant economy and more effective conservation measures mean 920 numbers are not expected to run out until at least late 2017. The PSC now plans to start implementing the 274 area code two years before the old numbers fill up.

Phone customers in central and northern Wisconsin are already dialing 10 digits for all their local calls. That’s because a separate area code was added for new numbers in the 715 territory a couple of years ago.