It seems the days of dialing seven digits to make a call in some areas are numbered. The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) move to adopt 988 as a brand new three-digit nationwide number to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline has led to a new 10-digit dialing requirement in multiple states—including New York and New Jersey.
The FCC order requires all telecommunications carriers, interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) providers, and one-way VoIP providers to make any network changes necessary to ensure that users can dial 988 to reach the Lifeline by July 16, 2022.
For CCi Voice customers in Connecticut, this has been a requirement in the Constitution State for more than a decade. But for customers in New Jersey and New Jersey (like certain towns in Westchester County, NY), they have been able to dial 7 digits to call their neighbors for years. With this new mandate, sometime soon, this shortcut feature will no longer work.
What can CCi Voice do to help our company keep dialing seven digits if we prefer that?
The phone systems/service that we provide is very smart. We can allow our customers to still dial seven digits, but add their local area code and then send out a 10-digit call to the outside world. Please ask us to program this for you if you are our customer. And if you are not yet a customer, please ask us about our phone services for your business.
Why is 10-digit dialing going to be required in this area code?
The FCC ordered that any area code that has the 988 prefix and has seven-digit local dialing be transitioned to 10-digit local dialing to ensure everyone is able to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline using the three-digit 988 code.
What area codes in New York are affected?
Customers with a number from the 516, 607, 716, 845, and 914 area codes will change to a mandatory 10-digit dialing system for local calls.
What area codes in New Jersey are affected?
In New Jersey, this change applies to homes and businesses using landlines within the 856 and 908 area codes since wireless customers in the state are already required to use ten-digit dialing for calls within their area code
What will be the new dialing procedure?
To complete local calls, the new dialing procedure requires callers to dial the area code + telephone number. This means that all local calls in the above area codes that are currently dialed with seven digits will need to be dialed using the area code + telephone number.
When will the dialing change become mandatory?
The dialing change became mandatory on Oct. 24 of 2021. If you’ve been trying to make a call using seven digits since the change, you’ve likely heard a recording informing you that “your call cannot be completed as dialed.”
What other changes need to be made?
In addition to changing your dialing patterns, all services, automatic dialing equipment, or other types of equipment that are programmed to complete local calls using only seven-digit numbers will need to be reprogrammed to complete calls to 10-digit numbers. Some examples include:
- Fax machines
- Internet dial-up numbers
- Speed dialers
- Voicemail services
- Call forwarding settings
- Mobile or other wireless phone contact lists
- Fire or burglar alarm and security systems or gates
- Life safety systems or medical monitoring devices
What will remain the same after the transition to 10-digit dialing?
Not everything has changed due to this new system of dialing. Your actual phone number will remain the same, this includes your current area code. What’s more, the price of a call, coverage area, or other rates and services will not change due to the new dialing procedure. Customers will also 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.
What if I still have questions about what 10-digit dialing means to me?
As always, we are here to answer any questions you may have! Calling us for information about your phone system is always free and always welcome. Please reach out to us with any questions or concerns!