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Ten-digit dialing required for local calls starting Sunday

Get ready to dial even local numbers with the 906 area code, beginning Sunday.

The Federal Communications Commission on July 16, 2020, adopted 988 as a three-digit abbreviated dialing code to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, starting July 16, 2022.

For 988 to work for everyone, customers in a number of regions must transition to 10-digit dialing. The change affects the 906 area code in the Upper Peninsula.

Since April 24, affected customers have had the ability to dial 10 digits — area code and phone number — for all local calls, including calls within the same area code. But if customers forgot and dialed just seven digits, calls were still completed.

Starting Sunday, customers must dial 10 digits — area code plus phone number — for all local calls, including calls within the same area code. Beginning Sunday, local calls dialed with only seven digits may not be completed, and a recording may inform the customer that the call cannot be completed as dialed.

If customers get this recording, they must hang up and dial again, using the area code with the seven-digit phone number.

Starting July 16, 2022, dialing 988 or 1-800-273-TALK (8255) will route the call to the National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline.

Telephone customers need to ensure all services, automatic dialing equipment, applications, software, or other types of equipment that are programmed to dial a seven-digit number are reprogrammed to include the area code and dial 10 digits instead. Examples include life-safety systems, fax machines, Internet dial-up numbers, alarm and security systems or gates, ankle monitors, speed dialers, mobile and cordless phone contact lists, call forwarding settings, voicemail services, and other similar functions.

Many types of important safety and security equipment, and medical alert devices, operate on 10-digit dialing by default but some older equipment may still use seven digits. Customers need to contact their medical alert or security provider if they are unsure whether their equipment needs to be reprogrammed to accommodate the upcoming change to 10-digit local dialing. Any equipment needing reprogramming must be completed by Sunday to avoid interruption of services.

Customers should check their websites, personal and business stationery, advertising materials, personal and business checks, contact information, personal or pet ID tags, and other such items to ensure the area code is included.

What will remain the same after the transition to 10-digit dialing?

— Customer 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 new dialing procedure;

— What is a local call now will remain a local call regardless of the number of digits dialed;

— Customers will continue to dial 1 plus the area code plus phone number for long-distance calls;

— Customers will continue to dial a prefix when dialing 988 from a multi-line telephone system, where a prefix is required– for example, dialing 9 first from a hotel or office building multi-line telephone system;

— Customers will continue to dial just three digits to reach 911 (emergency services) and 711 (relay services), as well as 211, 311, 411, 511, 611, 711 or 811 where currently available in the community;

— Customers can continue to dial 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to reach the Lifeline.

For more information, go to fcc.gov/suicide-prevention-hotline.

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