Updated: October 25, 2021 10:38 PM
Created: March 12, 2021 02:48 PM
Landline users in northern Minnesota and Michigan's Upper Peninsula are now required to dial ten digits when making local calls due to the launch of a new national hotline.
988 will be the new national phone number for suicide prevention and mental health help. However, 988 is already used as a local phone prefix in some area codes, so those area codes need to switch to ten-digit dialing.
The 218 and 906 area codes are among those that are be affected by the change. People in northern Wisconsin's 715 area code are already required to dial ten digits for local calls due to an "overlay" with the newer 534 area code.
The new 988 hotline and the associated change to national ten-digit dialing were approved last year by the Federal Communications Commission. Use of 988 for the hotline, which currently uses the number 1-800-273-TALK (8255), will not actually begin until July 2022.
The 952 area code in the Twin Cities area and several area codes in Wisconsin are also affected. The Metropolitan Emergency Services Board in the Twin Cities issued an advisory reminding people to remember to reprogram automatic dialing equipment such as medical monitoring devices, alarms and security systems, and speed dialers.
This article was originally published March 12, 2021 and updated Oct. 25, 2021.
According to a release to CenturyLink customers, the change will begin on October 24 for all local calls. A call made with 7 digits will not be completed, and a recording will inform you that you will need to try again using the area code and the 7-digit number. The flier also says to remember to change all services, automatic dialing equipment, including cell phone contacts if they do not already include the 10-digit number.
Some examples they give are life safety systems or medical monitoring devices, fax machines, fire or burglar alarm/security systems, mobile or other wireless phone contact lists, call forwarding settings and voicemail services.
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