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Mon, April 12

10-digit local dialing requirement to become effective in Arizona

Courier stock photo

Courier stock photo

Starting in October, quad-city area residents will need to add the 928 area code when making a local phone call.

WHY WILL 10 DIGITS BE REQUIRED?

On July 16, 2020, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted an order approving 988 as a new three-digit abbreviated dialing code to be used nationwide to reach the National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline. The new system goes into effect on July 16, 2022. Until then, customers must continue to dial 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to reach the lifeline.

Arizona is part of the mandatory 10-digit dialing requirement which will become effective on Oct. 24, 2021. Implementation of the FCC order applies to all local calls with area codes 480, 520, and 928.

Local phone service provider CenturyLink began sending notices to its customers explaining the required changes. In a mailed postcard, the company provided the following three key action dates associated with the change.

• Beginning April 24, 2021, begin dialing 10 digits (area code + telephone number) for all local calls. If you forget and dial just seven digits, your call will still be completed.

• Beginning Oct. 24, 2021, you must dial 10 digits (area code + telephone number) for all local calls. On and after this date, local calls dialed with only seven-digits may not be completed, and a recording will inform you that your call cannot be completed as dialed. You must hang up and dial again using the area code and the seven-digit number.

• Beginning July 16, 2022, dialing “988” will route your call to National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline.

In addition to changing dialing patterns, automatic dialing equipment programmed to complete local calls using only seven-digit numbers will need to be reprogrammed to complete calls to 10-digit numbers. These might include medical monitoring devices, fire or burglar alarms, security systems for gates, voicemail services and other similar functions.

WHAT REMAINS THE SAME?

• Your telephone number, including current area code.

• The price of a call, coverage area, or other rates and services will not change due to the dialing change.

• What is a local call now will remain a local call regardless of the number of digits dialed.

• You will continue to dial 1+ area code + telephone number for long-distance calls.

• You can still dial just three digits to reach 711 (relay services) and 911 (emergency services).

• Any 211, 311, 411, 511, 611 or 811 services available in your community can still be reached by dialing their three-digit codes.

• The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline cam still be reached by dailing 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Residents with questions about the dialing change are encouraged to contact their local service provider, or visit the FCC website www.fcc.gov/suicide-prevention-hotline.

For detailed information about area codes and this change for Arizona, visit www.azcc.gov/utilities/telephone/all-about-area-codes.

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