Phase one of the Federal Communications Commission's mandatory 10 digit dialing will begin on April 24, and here's what it means for you.
The reason for the 10 digit mandatory dialing is because the FCC is implementing a new 3-digit number, "988". When dialed, 988 will reach the National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline, and is for people that are experiencing a mental crisis or are thinking about committing suicide. Due to many areas already having a 3-digit prefix of 988, the FCC needs to implement 10 digit dialing.
Local area calls that already have 988 as a working prefix will "have to be dialed using all 10-digits of the phone number, even if they are in the same area code", according to DFTCommunications. A local call will require the area code + telephone number (or 1+ area code + telephone number depending on dialing plan). Currently, these calls only require seven digits, but the mandatory change of phase one will begin on April 24.
Phase one of the rollout of 10 digit dials is basically a timeframe for the public to get used to dialing with 10 digits, as 10 digit dialing is currently optional. Phase two will begin on October 24, 2021, and require the dialer to use the ten digits, abandoning the previously used seven. The final phase of the rollout is scheduled for July 16, 2022.
82 area codes across 36 states have been affected by this change. For more information on this story, check out this link here.