Informer: Mandatory 10-digit dialing in La. begins soon

Published 11:31 am Wednesday, October 13, 2021

I have started receiving notices from the phone company about mandatory 10-digit dialing for local calls. Why are we being switched to this new system?

The Federal Communications Commission has adopted “988” as a new three-digit number to be used nationwide to reach the National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline, starting July 16, 2022.

Wireless customers may dial either 988 or 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to reach the lifeline when the program launches.

The FCC said for 988 to work for everyone, 11-digit local dialing will be implemented in California and Illinois. Everyone else is being moved to a 10-digit local dialing system.

That means in Louisiana, all local calls will be made by first dialing the area code then the seven-digit telephone number. In California and Illinois, callers will need to dial “1” then the area code, then the phone number.

As of April 24, callers have had the ability to make local calls this way to start breaking our previous habits.

It will be the only way to make local calls starting Oct. 24.

Your telephone number, including current area code, will not change.

The price of a call, coverage area, or other rates and services will also not change.

Dialing 911 for emergency services, 711 for relay services and 211 for community services will not change.

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Informer is written by Crystal Stevenson, American Press executive editor. To ask a question, call 494-4098 and leave voice mail, or email informer@americanpress.com.