Starting Friday, people placing calls will need to dial all 10 digits in order for the call to go through, regardless of whether or not the call is local. Calls placed to anyone in Alaska must start with 9-0-7 in order to be completed.
The change is in response to new rules adopted by the Federal Communications Commission last summer that established 9-8-8 as the way to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Under those rules, phone service providers must direct all 988 calls to the lifeline.
The change does not apply to people calling from a mobile phone, as mobile phones already require 10-digit dialing. According to the FCC, 82 area codes that allow seven-digit dialing and also use 988 as a central office code will be impacted by the change.
Dialing 9-8-8 will reroute all calls to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline beginning July 16, 2022.
More information about the change can be found at fcc.gov/sites/default/files/988-fact-sheet.pdf.
Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at firstname.lastname@example.org.