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New 274 area code postponed again; plans to be active in late 2017


MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - The state of Wisconsin is delaying implementation of the 274 area code in Northeast Wisconsin until 2017.

The 274 area code was selected in 2008 with an original implementatio date of February 2012. That timeframe was later pushed to early 2014. Now, it's estimated to be active in late 2017.

Once activated, the 274 area code will be "overlayed" with the 920 area code. The two area codes will have the same boundaries - and will trigger 10-digit dialing for all phone calls.

The state's Public Service Commission says since the 2008 decision, effective number conservation measures, along with economic conditions have further extended the anticipated life of the 920 area code.

"Although an area code overlay allows residents to maintain their existing area code and their 7-digit local telephone number, there are inconveniences and potential expenses associated with the introduction of a new area code.  This welcome postponement ensures that residents living in the 920 area code will not be subject to dialing changes before it is necessary" said PSC Chairperson Phil Montgomery. 

The 715 area code, which covers most of the northern third of the state already has 10-digit in anticipation of the 534 area code overlay - but no 534 numbers have been assigned.