Calling a nearby friend or the neighborhood hardware store is about to get slightly more complicated. But it’s for a very good reason.
Starting October 24, 2021, everyone in Wisconsin will have to use 10 digits to make a local phone call. This means you’ll need to dial the area code plus the seven-digit phone number, whether you use a landline or cellphone.
The change is related to creation of a new national suicide prevention lifeline, 988. For the new line to work, people in any area code that has seven-digit phone numbers beginning with 988 must now use all 10 digits for local calls.
In Wisconsin, this change impacts area codes 262, 414, 608 and 920. People in the state’s other two area codes, 534 and 715, already must use 10-digit dialing for local calls. So this means that starting October 24, ALL of Wisconsin will need to dial 10 digits to make local calls.
You can find more information, including fact sheets about the lifeline and 10-digit dialing, on the Federal Communications Commission website.