Calling Wisconsin? Get ready to dial 715 and 534Punching a seven-digit phone number into the 715 area code in Northwestern Wisconsin is about to go the way of the rotary dial.
By: Shelley Nelson, Superior Telegram, Pine Journal
Punching a seven-digit phone number into the 715 area code in Northwestern Wisconsin is about to go the way of the rotary dial.
Starting Saturday, anyone calling into the state’s largest geographical calling area will have to include the area code with the seven-digit phone number for the call to connect, even on local calls. Ten-digit dialing becomes mandatory when two area codes serve the same area, a situation called an overlay.
An overlay doesn’t require existing customers to change their area code or telephone number, according to CenturyLink. But callers are required to change the way they dial local calls.
To make a local call, dial the area code and the phone number. There is no need to dial one or zero before the 10-digit number unless making a long-
distance or operator-assisted call.
The change is a result of the Wisconsin Public Service Commission ordering an overlay of the 534 area code with the 715 area code to ensure an ongoing supply of telephone numbers throughout the northern region of the state.
Phone numbers with the 534 area code could be assigned starting Aug. 14.
According to CenturyLink, the most important facts that consumers and businesses need to know about the overlay are:
# The dialing procedure for long-distance or operator-assisted calls will not change.
# All customers with a 715 area code will keep the 715 area code for that number.
# The price of a call, local and long-distance calling areas and other rates and services of your provider will not change as a result of the area code overlay.
# You will still dial three digits to reach 911. If 211, 311, 411, 511, 611, 711 and 811 are available in your community, or from your provider, you will still dial only three digits.
In addition to changing the local dialing procedure, customers in the 715 area code will need to reprogram automatic dialing equipment or other equipment programmed to dial seven digits for 10-digit dialing. Examples of programmed equipment and features include PBX systems, life safety systems, fax machines, Internet dial-up numbers, alarm and security systems, gates, speed dialers, call-forward settings, voicemail and similar services.
For more information, call CenturyLink at (608) 201-4099 or visit psc.wi.gov/utilityinfo/tele/areaCodes/home-AreaCodeRelief.htm.