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Ready to dial?: PSC votes to give new customers new area codes in 715 area

If you live in northern, central, or eastern Wisconsin, you'll have to hit 10 numbers to make a local call starting in the next couple years.

Today (Thursday), the state Public Service Commission vote to create two new area codes, to be used only by new phone customers.

For example, if you get new phone service in the 715 area code, you'll actually get a different three-digit code starting in 2010. The same thing will happen in the 920 area code.

It means that each community will have two codes, so everybody will have to dial the one they want before punching in the other party's phone number.

The idea behind this whole thing is to avoid carving up the current 715 and 920 zones to create new territory for everybody.

Among other things, it would force businesses to spend money to change their letter-heads and promotional items.

Those companies, and the legislators who represent them, pleaded with state officials not to let that happen.

Some time ago, officials warned that the current 715 area code would run out of numbers by 2011 and 920 zone would run out of numbers by 2012.

Officials note that the explosion of cell phones and fax machines is the reason behind the need for new phone numbers.