If you have any of the four Michigan area codes affected by the new FCC guidelines, which come into effect in October, you may need to change the way you dial phone calls.
Here’s what you need to know and why it happens:
On July 16, 2020, the FCC passed an ordinance (FCC 20-100) approving the designation of 988 as the 3-digit speed dial code for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, requiring all telecom carriers to be Interconnected with Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and one-way VoIP providers (Covered Providers) to make the necessary network changes to ensure that users can dial 988 to reach the existing national suicide prevention lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) starting July 16, 2022.
What is the impact of making 988 a 3-digit area code?
In area codes where 988 is an assigned work prefix, local calls should be dialed using the 10 digit phone number. To end all local calls, you will need to dial the area code + the phone number. This applies to all calls within your area code that are currently dialed with 7 digits.
Which states / area codes are affected by this ordinance?
There are 37 states and 83 area codes that are affected by this ordinance where the 988 prefix is ââa functional prefix and has a 7-digit local numbering. This includes all of Michigan area codes 616, 810, 906, and 989.
Will everyone in those area codes have to dial 10 digits for a local call or just the people with 988 numbers?
Yes. Each customer in all of area codes 616, 810, 906 and 989 will switch to mandatory 10-digit dialing for local calls. 7-digit dialing for local calls will be prohibited for all customers throughout the area code.
The FCC has ordered that these area codes be changed to 10-digit numbering to avoid problems accessing the national suicide prevention lifeline using the 3-digit code 988.
Will I have to change my phone number?
No. One of the reasons for switching to 10-digit dialing is to avoid having to change people’s phone numbers.
Will I be able to start 10-digit local dialing before it becomes mandatory?
Yes. As of April 24, 2021, you should start dialing 10 digits (area code + phone number) for all local calls. If you forget and dial only 7 digits, your call will always be terminated.
When will 10-digit local dialing become mandatory?
As of October 24, 2021, you must dial 10 digits (area code + phone number) for all local calls. As of this date, local calls dialed with only 7 digits may not be terminated and a recording will inform you that your call cannot be terminated as dialed. If you get this recording, you must hang up and dial again using the area code and the 7-digit phone number.
When can I start dialing “988” to join the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline?
As of July 16, 2022, dialing “988” will direct your call to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline. Customers should continue to dial 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) to reach Lifeline until July 16, 2022.
Related: Michigan Secretary of State Launches First Mobile Office
Other changes to be aware of:
In addition to changing your dialing schemes, any services, automatic dialing equipment, or other types of equipment programmed to make local calls using only 7-digit numbers will need to be reprogrammed to make calls to 10-digit numbers. . Some examples are:
â¢ personal safety systems or medical surveillance devices.
â¢ Fax machines.
â¢ Internet access numbers.
â¢ fire or anti-theft and security alarm systems or gates.
â¢ speed dials â¢ mobile contact lists or other cordless phones.
â¢ call forwarding settings.
â¢ voicemail services and other similar functions.
Be sure to check your website, personal and business stationery, advertising materials, personal and business checks, contact information, personal or pet ID tags and the like to make sure that the area code is included.
What remains the same:
â¢ Your phone number, including the current area code, will not change
â¢ The price of a call, the coverage area or other tariffs and services will not change due to the change of numbering.
â¢ What a local call now will remain a local call regardless of the number of digits dialed
â¢ You will continue to dial 1+ area code + phone number for all long distance calls.
â¢ Callers should always dial a prefix (such as “9”) when dialing from a multi-line telephone system (ie in a hotel, office building, etc.) as required.
â¢ You can still dial just three digits to reach 711 (relay services) and 911 (emergency services)
â¢ All 211, 311, 411, 511, 611 or 811 services available in your community can always be reached by dialing their 3-digit codes.
â¢ The national suicide prevention lifeline can still be reached by dialing 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) from July 16, 2022.
Related: US Extends REAL ID Travel Deadline to May 2023: What to Know
Copyright 2021 by WDIV ClickOnDetroit – All rights reserved.