On July 16, 2020, the FCC adopted an Order (FCC 20-100) approving 988 as the three-digit abbreviated dialing code to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline starting July 16, 2022. The Order requires all telecommunications carriers to make any network changes necessary to ensure that users can dial 988 to reach the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
In order for 988 to work properly in all areas, every customer will need to dial the area code when making a local call. You will need to dial the area code + telephone number. This applies to all calls within your area code that are currently dialed with seven digits. This change is affecting 82 area codes in 36 states.
This transition will begin on April 24, 2021 and will become mandatory on October 24, 2021. On and after this date, local calls dialed with only seven-digits may not be completed, and a recording may inform you that your call cannot be completed as dialed. If you get this recording, you must hang up and dial again using the area code with the seven-digit telephone number.
Why should you care: Business phone systems and personal lines with pre-programmed phone or fax numbers, or phones that are set up with automatic dialing need to be updated. Example: check pre-programmed phone numbers or fax numbers.