Residents in the 715 area code region, which covers half the state, are now required to dial all 10-digits.
Gary Evenson with the state Public Service Commission explains area code relief is being implemented in the region by means of an ‘overlay.’ That means two area codes will coexist: 715 and 534. Evenson says the PSC explored two methods. The other option would have been through a geographic split. “And with a geographic split the area would be divided into two parts, and on one side of the line all the customers would have had to change from the 715 area code to the 534 area code.” And, he says, nobody wanted to do that.
Evenson says the overlay makes it inconvenient to dial ten digits, but he says at least nobody has to change their phone number … and everything that goes along with it.
“Meaning that they’d have to notify all people that were trying to reach them; they’d have to change advertising; they’d have to change business cards, stationery, bill forms, etc. So geographic split is a lot of work and a lot of expense, especially for half of the people involved.”
Evenson understands that change can be difficult, but he says we’ll survive this. (FAQ)
New technology requires the use of more telephone numbers, resulting in area code “exhaust” — numbers are running out. Residents will still dial just three digits to reach 911, or any other three-digit codes available for service in one’s community. New telephone numbers with the 534 area code may be assigned in some areas starting August 14, 2010.
Related story: Ten-digit dialing…