Mandatory 10-digit dialing begins this month
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted 988 as a new three-digit number to be used nationwide to reach the National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline. The use of this new three-digit number will begin on July 16, 2022. The FCC is implementing this new three-digit number in an effort to simplify the hotline’s current 10-digit phone number.
What does this mean?
For the new 988 number to work in the 660, 816 and 515 area codes, residents will be required to dial local numbers using 10 digits -- the area code plus the phone number. Effective Oct. 24, seven-digit dialing will no longer work in these area codes.
According to a press release from GRM Networks, residents in the 660, 816 and 515 area codes will now need to dial all local calls to numbers in these area codes as a 10-digit number (area code plus the telephone number) instead of a seven-digit number. Residents in the 641 area code who can call a number in the 660 or 515 area codes as a local number will now need to dial a 10-digit number (the area code plus the telephone number) as well.
This includes all GRM Networks’ Missouri and LTC Networks’ phone customers. This will also affect GRM Networks’ customers in Iowa who can call 660 or 515 numbers as a local number. These exchanges are Blockton, Lamoni, Davis City, Lineville, Leon, Allerton and Lorimor.
When does this begin?
Beginning Oct. 24, residents in the affected area codes must dial 10-digits (area code + telephone number) for all local calls as described above. On and after this date, local calls dialed with only seven digits may not be completed; a recording will inform the caller that the call cannot be completed as dialed. The caller must hang up and dial again using the area code and the seven-digit number.
Beginning July 16, 2022, dialing 988 will route the call to National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline.
What else is affected by this change?
The 10-digit dialing will also affect cell phone calls. Customers with questions about their wireless service should contact their wireless provider.
Other devices will need to be checked. These include automatic dialing equipment and other services that are programmed to currently use seven-digit dialing. Some examples of this are life safety systems or medical monitoring devices, PBXs, fax machines, fire or burglar alarm and security systems or gates, speed dialers, mobile or other wireless phone contact lists, call forwarding settings, voicemail services and other similar functions. Items such as these will need to be reprogrammed to complete 10-digit dialed calls.
Websites, personal and business stationery, advertising materials, personal and business checks, contact information, personal or pet ID tags and other similar items should be checked to ensure the area code is listed.
What will remain the same?
· Existing customer telephone numbers, including the current area code, will not change.
· The price of a call, coverage area, or other rates and services will not change due to the dialing change.
· What is considered a local call now will remain a local call regardless of the number of digits dialed.
· Long distance calls will continue to be dialed as 1 plus the area code plus the telephone number.
· Dialing three digit numbers such as 911 (emergency services) and 711 (relay services) do not change.
· Any 211, 311, 411, 511, 611 or 811 service available in communities can still be reached by dialing the three-digit code.
· The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline may still be reached by dialing 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
More information may be found at the FCC website at https://www.fcc.gov/suicide-prevention-hotline.