NEW ORLEANS – Before you start to grumble, remember that it’s for a good cause.
The Federal Communications Commission is starting a “988” suicide prevention line– similar to the “911” emergency line. And because some local calls start with the numbers 988, all local calls will have to include the 504 area code. Meaning: you’ll have to use all ten numbers (including the 504 area code) to make a local call.
Most of us are already doing that on our cell phones. But those who use landline phones will have to start doing it by the end of the year.
Here’s the FCC timeline for the switch to “10-digit dialing.”
- Beginning April 24, 2021, to begin to become accustomed to 10-digit dialing, consumers should begin dialing 10 digits (3-digit area code + 7-digit telephone number) for all local non-mobile calls. If they forget and dial just 7 digits, their call will still be completed.
- Beginning October 24, 2021, consumers must dial 10-digits (area code + telephone number) for all local calls. On and after this date, local calls dialed with only 7 digits may not be completed, and a recording will inform you that your call cannot be completed as dialed. Consumers must hang up and dial again using the area code and the 7-digit number.
- Beginning July 16, 2022, dialing “988” will route calls to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
You can find more information here: