10-digit dialing requirement begins October 24 for northern Indiana area codes

Photo courtesy: MGN

Beginning on Sunday, October 24, everyone in the 219 and 574 telephone area codes will be required to use 10-digit dialing, rather than seven, to make local phone calls.

This change accommodates the implementation of the national “988” National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

Local calls made with seven digits will still work until the end of the permissive dialing period on October 24, 2021.

After October 24, if you do not use 10 digits, your call will not be completed and a recording will ask you to hang up and dial again.

The 988 hotline was designated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and will be in full use by July 16, 2022.

The lifeline can be reached before and after July 16, 2022, at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

The following facts are important for residential consumers and businesses in these area codes to know:

  • Your telephone number, including current area code, will not change.
  • You will need to dial area code + telephone number (a total of 10 digits) for all local calls in the 219 and 574 areas.
  • You will continue to dial 1 + area code + telephone number (a total of 11 digits) for all long-distance calls.
  • Calls that are local now will remain local.
  • 10-digit dialing for local calls will not change the price of a call, your coverage area, or other rates and services.
  • You can still dial three digits to reach 911 for emergency services.
  • You can continue to dial three digits to dial 211 (social services), 411 (directory assistance), 711 (telecommunications relay service), or 811 (call to request utility locate before you dig).
  • You should start including the area code together with your seven-digit local telephone numbers when providing numbers to others.
  • You should make sure that all preprogrammed numbers for local calls are set to include the area code. Examples include life safety systems, medical monitoring services, PBXs, fax machines, Internet dial-up numbers, alarm and security systems, gates, speed dialers, mobile/wireless phone contact lists, call forwarding settings, voicemail services, and similar functions.
  • You should check your website, stationery, advertising materials, personal and business checks, personal or pet ID tags and microchips, and other items to ensure that the phone number includes the area code.

Any safety and security equipment, like alarm systems or medical alert devices, must be programmed for 10-digit local dialing unless the calls are already directed to long-distance or toll-free telephone numbers.

If you aren’t sure if your equipment needs reprogrammed, contact your security or medical alert provider.

This reprogramming also needs to be completed before October 24.

Many area codes across the United States are implementing 10-digit dialing to accommodate the 988 Lifeline.

Mandatory 10-digit dialing has been in place in Indiana’s 317 and 812 area codes for several years.

The 260 and 765 area codes are not affected.

Click here for a video summarizing the changes.

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