Mandatory 10-digit dialing begins Oct. 24

PIERRE, S.D. — Mandatory 10-digit dialing will begin across South Dakota October 24. Making phone calls on or after October 24 will require dialing the area code and telephone number.

The requirement is the result of the FCC’s effort to establish “988” as a suicide hotline dialing code.

Beginning July 16, 2022, dialing “988” will route calls to the National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline.

PIERRE, S.D. — Beginning on April 24, South Dakotans are asked to start using 10-digit dialing, meaning (605) plus the phone number, to make all local phone calls. The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission says this transition is a necessary first step in the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) move to establish 988 as a new three-digit dialing code for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and will be required beginning as early as October 24, 2021, and no later than July 15, 2022, depending on your telephone provider.

In addition to changing how you dial, the PUC recommends you take steps to update all of your contact lists ahead of the upcoming deadlines. They also suggest you take the time to update or reprogram all services, automatic dialing equipment, or other types of equipment that may be programmed to complete calls using only seven-digit phone numbers.

“An unfortunate byproduct of the FCC’s efforts to establish an easy-to-use suicide prevention hotline number is the upcoming requirement for all of us to use the full 10-digits, including area code, when dialing a phone number. Whenever possible, preprogram frequently used numbers into your phone to make this conversion easier,” recommends PUC Chairman Chris Nelson.

The North American Numbering Plan Administrator, or NANPA, established the set implementation schedule in August of 2020 – one month after the FCC adopted an order designating 988 as a new abbreviated dialing code.

The FCC then determined that all area codes where 988 is a working prefix would be required to convert from seven-digit local dialing to 10-digit dialing prior to the 988 abbreviated code being put into use.

Nationwide, more than 80 area codes in 36 states will be affected to ensure ease of access to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

Starting July 16, 2022, dialing 988 will route your call to the National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline. Until then, customers wishing to reach the Lifeline must continue to dial 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

For more information on 10-digit dialing, contact your service provider or visit the PUC website here.

Categories: Local News, National News, South Dakota News