New 274 area code coming to Northeast Wisconsin next month

The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin announced in a press release Friday the creation of a new, additional area code to overlay the area in which the 920 area code is now in service. This area includes communities such as Appleton, Beaver Dam, Berlin, Fond du Lac, Fort Atkinson, Green Bay, Manitowoc, Oshkosh, Ripon, Sheboygan, Sturgeon Bay, and Watertown. 

The 920 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. The new 274 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, has filed notification of the process to overlay a new area code. This process will provide additional numbering resources to meet the demand for telephone numbers. The new 274 area code will be in service beginning May 5, 2023, but won’t be in use right away. NANPA will assign 274 area codes once all of the 920 area codes have been assigned, which could happen as soon as the end of the year, according to the press release. 

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 920 and 274 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 new Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.