Beginning Sunday, everyone in northern Indiana’s 219 and 574 telephone area codes will be required to use 10 digits to make local phone calls.
After Oct. 24, callers who don't use 10 digits for these area codes will get a recording instructing them to hang up and dial again.
The change to 10-digit dialing is necessary to accommodate the “988” National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The Federal Communications Commission is requiring 10-digit dialing be implemented by all telecommunications providers by July 16, 2022 for any area code with a “988” prefix.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached before and after July 16, 2022, at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or at 988 after July 16, 2022.
The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor says most important facts for residential consumers and businesses in these area codes to know are:
- Telephone numbers, including current area code, will not change.
- Callers will need to dial area code + telephone number (a total of 10 digits) for all local calls in the 219 and 574 areas.
- Continue to dial 1 + area code + telephone number (a total of 11 digits) for all long-distance calls.
- Calls that are local now will remain local.
- 10-digit dialing for local calls will not change the price of a call, your coverage area, or other rates and services.
- Callers still dial three digits to reach 911 for emergency services.
- Continue to dial three digits to dial 211 (social services), 411 (directory assistance), 711 (telecommunications relay service), or 811 (call to request utility locate before you dig).
- Start including the area code together with seven-digit local telephone numbers when providing numbers to others.
- Make sure that all preprogrammed numbers for local calls are set to include the area code. Examples include life safety systems, medical monitoring services, PBXs, fax machines, Internet dial-up numbers, alarm and security systems, gates, speed dialers, mobile/wireless phone contact lists, call forwarding settings, voicemail services, and similar functions.
- Check websites, stationery, advertising materials, personal and business checks, personal or pet ID tags and microchips, and other items to ensure that the phone number includes the area code.
Any safety and security equipment, including medical alert devices and alarm systems, must be programmed for mandatory 10-digit local dialing unless the calls are already directed to toll-free or long-distance telephone numbers.
Anyone unsure whether equipment needs to be reprogrammed, should contact their medical alert or security provider. All necessary reprogramming must be completed before Oct. 24.
Mandatory 10-digit dialing has been in place for several years in Indiana’s 317 and 812 area codes due to the addition of new “overlay” area codes due to shrinking number supplies.
Indiana is not alone in this change, with some area codes in 35 states — including all four of Indiana’s neighboring states — are implementing 10-digit dialing to accommodate the 988 Lifeline. The 260 and 765 area codes are not affected.