Dialing area codes for local calls starts Saturday

If you are trying to call a phone number with an 608 area code, you’ll need to dial all 10...
If you are trying to call a phone number with an 608 area code, you’ll need to dial all 10 digits for your call to go through starting next month.(WCTV)
Published: Apr. 23, 2021 at 11:50 AM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Starting Saturday, the FCC wants everyone in the 608-area code to start using all ten digits when dialing someone, even when they are making local calls. Seven-digits numbers will still connect for a few more months, the agency explained, so people can get used to the changeover.

After October 24, however, seven-digit calls may no longer work. Instead, they may not connect and callers will hear a recording telling people the number can’t be completed as dialed. In those cases, the person will have to hang up and dial again, with the area code. In all, area codes in 36 states, including most of Wisconsin, will be affected by the change.

The FCC has previous explained the change is being made to help establish 988 as a new, nationwide crisis hotline number, akin to 911, that connects individuals to suicide prevention and mental health crisis counselors.

After the parts of the country that are switching to ten-digit-only numbers, such as Wisconsin, have completed the move, the new hotline will launch. Currently, that is slated for July 16, 2022.

Until that point, the FCC reminds everyone that they can still reach the National Suicide Prevention Hotline by calling 1-800-273-8255 (1-800-273-TALK), or through online chats. There is also a crisis hotline dedicated to veterans that can be reached by pressing 1 after dialing, chatting online at www.veterantscrisisline.net, or by texting 8388255.

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