INDIANAPOLIS — Those who live in the 574 and 219 areas codes will soon have to dial 10 digits to make local calls.
That’s according to an Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission and Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor news release.
The transition begins soon.
Starting on April 24, everyone in those area codes is encouraged to start using 10 digits, rather than seven, to make local phone calls. (For example, callers should start dialing “219-555-5555” or “574-555-5555” instead of “555-5555.”)
This will help ease into the upcoming transition to mandatory 10-digit dialing for local calls within the 219 and 574 area codes. Local calls made with seven digits will still work until Oct. 24 to allow callers ample time to adjust to the new dialing pattern and to make any required system changes before 10-digit dialing becomes mandatory for local calls.
The change to 10-digit dialing is necessary to accommodate the national “988” National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, as designated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). All telecommunications providers in the United States are required to implement the three-digit 9-8-8 dialing code for the hotline by July 16, 2022, according to the news release.
Under the FCC order, 10-digit dialing must be in place before then for any area code with a “988” prefix.
Beginning July 16, 2022, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline will be reachable by calling the three-digit 9-8-8 code. The lifeline can be reached before and after that date at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
The release advises people that:
- Their telephone number, including their current area code, will not change.
- They will continue to dial 1 + area code + telephone number (a total of 11 digits) for all long-distance calls.
- Ten-digit dialing for local calls will not change the price of a call, their coverage area or other rates and services.
- They can still dial three digits to reach 911 for emergency services.
- They 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 they dig).
- They should start including the area code together with their seven-digit local telephone numbers when providing numbers to others.
- They 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.
- They should check their 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, including medical alert devices and alarm systems, must be programmed for mandatory 10-digit local dialing unless the calls are already directed to toll-free or long-distance telephone numbers. Those who are not sure whether their equipment needs to be reprogrammed should contact their medical alert or security provider. All necessary reprogramming must be completed before Oct. 24.
Specific area codes in 35 states, including all four of Indiana’s neighboring states, are implementing 10-digit dialing to accommodate the 988 Lifeline. Mandatory 10-digit dialing has been in place for several years in Indiana’s 317 and 812 area codes; it was implemented to accommodate the addition of new “overlay” area codes due to shrinking number supplies.