Why Do I Need To Change To 10-Digit Dialing?

Posted by Liz Sujka on 05/04/21 11:53 AM
Liz Sujka

Ok, you ask, “Why are we switching to 10 digit dialing?” The answer is relatively simple. It is to make a National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline easier to reach with a 3-digit code that works for everyone – just like 911 works for emergency services. The requirement came from an FCC order from July 2020, which mandated that the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline be reachable through a three-digit number, specifically 988. To accommodate this requirement, any area with phone numbers beginning in 988 as the first three numbers in their 7-digit phone number now have to change to a ten-digit dialing pattern starting July 16, 2022.

person dialing with their smart phone

Side note – calling 988 will not connect you to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline until July 16, 2022. If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call 1-800-273-8255 (TALK).

To break it down a little more contextually, if you live in a location with phone numbers that begin like 716-988-0000, you will need to use the area code to dial in that region. Here is a quick list of systems that you use that may need to be configured differently as a result of this change.

  • Preprogrammed PBXs
  • Fax Machines
  • Life Safety Or Medical Monitoring Devices
  • Fire Or Theft Alarm Devices
  • Security Systems
  • Speed Dialers
  • Call Forwarding Settings
  • Voicemail Services

Not all areas are universally affected by this change. Below is a list of areas affected.


Data from the NANPA and T-Mobile

 If you need support making changes to your systems to accommodate 10-digit dialing, we are here to help - contact us today!