608, meet 353: new area code rollout begins next month

The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) today announced that customers in the 608 area code may be assigned a number with 353 area code when they request new service or an additional line beginning September 15, 2023. This area includes communities such as Madison, Beloit, Janesville, La Crosse, Middleton, Monroe, Platteville, Stoughton, Sun Prairie, and Wisconsin Dells. 

The 608 area code is expected to run out of assignable prefixes (the three numbers in a phone number following the area code) by the first quarter of 2024, or sooner. The new 353 area code will be used to provide telephone numbers to new customers. All current customers will retain their existing telephone numbers and will continue to dial and receive calls without change. 

Following the process established by the Commission, the North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA), the neutral third-party area code relief planner, filed notification of the process to overlay a new area code in June 2022. This process provides additional numbering resources to meet the demand for telephone numbers. NANPA will assign prefixes in the 353 area code once all of the 608 prefixes have been assigned.

An area code overlay adds a second area code to the geographic region served by the existing area code. Therefore, multiple area codes co-exist within the same geographic region. Customers will continue to dial the three-digit area code for all calls to and from telephone numbers with the 608 and 353 area codes. The price of a call will not change due to the overlay. Customers can still dial just three digits to reach 911, as well as 211, 311, 411, 511, 611, 711, 811, and 988, the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.