Getting used to 269 and using it
July 18, 2002
KALAMAZOO -- Southwest Michigan's new area code 269 went live on July 13.
The affected area includes most or all of eight counties in the southwest corner of the state, including all of Berrien, Cass, Kalamazoo, St. Joseph and Van Buren counties and most of Allegan, Barry and Calhoun. WMU's Kalamazoo, Battle Creek and Benton Harbor campuses are included in the region that has a new code.
Either the old 616 area code or the new 269 can be used for all pre-existing land-line phones until Feb. 15, 2003. After that date, the new 269 area code becomes mandatory for all land lines.
There is a longer grace period on pre-existing cell-phone numbers. Mandatory use of 269 for cell-phone numbers issued before July 13 will not occur until Feb. 15, 2004.
For all new land-line and cell-phone numbers issued after July 13, the 269 area code is immediately mandatory. The old area code will not work with any new numbers issued.
Some customers of voicemail services, such as Ameritech voicemail, may discover that they can only access their voicemail accounts using the old area code. According to Ameritech representatives, the change in voicemail account numbers to reflect the new area code will occur by Sept. 1.
David H. Smith, WMU's director of graphics and design, recommends that University offices begin distributing materials with the new area code immediately. Remaining printed items may be used through February 2003, but any new or reprinted materials should include the 269 area code.
University Web sites should be updated immediately to reflect the new area code in all contact information.
Media contact: Thom Myers, 269 387-8400, firstname.lastname@example.org