Requirement to Dial an Area Code When Placing a Call Starts This Weekend in 36 States

By Paul Riegler on 25 April 2021
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Placing a call today may require more effort than it did just several days earlier after a new 10-digit dialing plan went into effect in many parts of the United States Saturday. The change came about as part of preparations to launch a new three-digit abbreviated dialing code – 998 – for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

Telephone customers located in 82 area codes in 36 states are affected by the change, which requires a move from seven-digit local dialing to ten-digit or 1+ dialing.

The Federal Communications Commission approved the new three-digit number that Americans will be able to dial to reach the 24-hour national hotline last July but the implementation of the new code requires significant changes in how the nation’s telephone network processes calls.

Callers can currently reach the hotline via a toll-free number, 800 273-8255.

The states impacted include Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Texas, and Vermont and area codes impacted by the change include 219, 302, 417, 509, 603, 716, 808, 907, 908, 912, and 914, among others.

The change went into effect on Saturday, although calls dialed without an area code will still go through during a so-called a “permissive period.”  However, starting on October 24, 2021, the new dialing patterns will be mandatory.  Telephone subscribers who dial a seven-digit local number will receive an intercept message saying that the call cannot be completed as dialed and that the subscriber should hang up and dial again using the correct dialing pattern.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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