Starting in October, even local calls will require you to dial the area code

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FILE – In this Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019 file photo a staff member holds a Huawei ‘Mate20 X 5G’ smartphone at the IFA 2019 tech fair in Berlin, Germany. German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Cabinet approved a bill Wednesday that would require companies involved in setting up critical infrastructure such as high-speed 5G networks to guarantee that their equipment can’t be used for sabotage, espionage or terrorism. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn, file)

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — Starting Oct. 24, all phone calls will require an area code to connect, even if you’re just dialing a local call, according to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Local 10-digit dialing (area code + telephone number) has been mandated by the FCC for everyone with a 337 or 504 telephone number, regardless of service provider. This change in dialing will apply to calls made from both landlines and cell phones.

The change, according to LUS Fiber, is so the FCC can adopt a new three-digit phone number for the National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline. Currently, to reach the hotline, you must dial 1-800-273-TALK (8255). That number will change to 988 starting July 16, 2022.

On October 24 of this year, 10-digit dialing must be used for all local calls. Local calls dialed with only seven digits may not be completed, and a recording will inform the caller that the call cannot be completed as dialed. Callers will then need to hang up and dial again using 10-digit dialing.

In addition to changing the way local calls are dialed, all services, automatic dialing equipment, or other types of equipment that are programmed to complete calls to seven-digit local numbers will need to be reprogrammed to complete calls to 10-digit numbers. Be sure to also check contact information on stationery, websites, advertising materials, checks, personal or pet ID tags, and other such items to ensure the area code is included.

With the implementation of 10-digit dialing, the following will remain the same:

  • Telephone numbers, 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.
  • Callers will continue to dial “1+ area code + telephone number” for all long-distance calls.
  • Three-digit dialing will still connect callers to local 211, 311, 411, 511, 611, 711, 811, and 911 services.
  • The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline will still be reachable by dialing “1-800-273-TALK (8255)”.

For more information, please call (337) 99-FIBER or visit https://www.fcc.gov/suicide-prevention-hotline.

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