For a Good Cause 10-Digit Dialing Must Start

For a good cause… ten-digit dialing must be implemented in all areas of the U.S.

This is due to technical reasons supporting the new Federal Communications Commission (FCC) directive adopting 988 as the three-digit number to be used nationwide to reach the National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline. For 988 to work in the 218-area code, 10-digit local dialing must first be implemented, which means you will need to change the way you dial local calls.

The 988 hotline is starting July 16, 2022. Customers should continue to dial 1-800-273-TALK to reach the Lifeline until July 16, 2022.

What will be the new dialing procedure?
To complete all local calls, you will now need to dial 218 + telephone number. This applies to all calls within your area code that are currently dialed with seven digits.

Who will be affected?
Anyone with a telephone number with the area code 218 will need to make this change from 7-digit local dialing to 10-digit local dialing.

When will the change begin?
Beginning April 24, 2021, you can and should begin dialing 10 digits (218 + telephone number) for all local calls. If you forget and dial just 7 digits, for now, your call will still be completed.

Beginning January 1, 2022, you must dial 10-digits (218 + telephone number) for all local calls. On and after this date, local calls dialed with only 7-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 7-digit number.

Reprogram Your Auto Dialers
In addition to changing the way you dial local calls, all services, automatic dialing equipment, or other types of equipment that are programmed to complete calls to 7-digit local numbers will need to be reprogrammed to complete calls to 10-digit numbers.

Some examples are life safety systems or medical monitoring devices, PBXs, fax machines, Internet dial-up numbers, 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. Be sure to check your website, personal and business stationery, advertising materials, personal and business checks, contact information, your personal or pet ID tags, and other such items to ensure the area code is included.

What will remain the same?
• Your telephone number, including 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 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 all long-distance calls.
• You can still dial just three digits to reach 711 (relay services) and 911 (emergency services).
• 211, 411, 511, 611, or 811 services can still be reached by dialing their three-digit codes.
• The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can still be reached by dialing 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Who may you contact with questions?
If you have any questions regarding information provided in this notice, please call our office at 218-837-5151 or access for more information. You can also visit the FCC website.

And remember, if you or anyone you know needs it, beginning July 16, 2022, dialing “988” will quickly route your call to National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline.

For more information see the FCC Announcement.