FCC orders change to clear way for a 3-digit National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Starting Oct. 24, 2021, phone customers in the 309, 618 and 708 area codes will be required to use 10-digit dialing (or 1+10-digit) when making local calls to ensure users can dial 988 to reach the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline starting in July 2022, the Illinois Commerce Commission announced Friday.
On July 16, 2020, the Federal Communications Commission adopted an order (FCC 20-100) approving 988 as the abbreviated dialing code to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, starting July 16, 2022. Additionally, the Order requires all telecommunications carriers, Interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (VolP) providers, and one-way VolP providers (covered providers) to make any network changes necessary to support 988 as the abbreviated dialing code for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.The FCC also ordered any area code that has a 988 prefix assigned and has 7-digit local dialing to be transitioned to 10-digit local dialing. There are 37 states and 83 area codes impacted by this Order where 988 is a working prefix.
Beginning April 24, 2021, all customers in the entire 309 and 618 area codes should start dialing the area code + telephone number for all local calls in the 308 and 618 area codes and 1+area code+ telephone number for local calls in the 708 area code. All services, automatic dialing equipment or other types of equipment (life safety systems, fax machines, fire or burglar alarms, mobile contact lists, call forwarding, etc.) that are programmed to complete local calls using only 7-digit numbers will need to be reprogrammed to complete calls to 10-digit numbers.
Any local phone call made by dialing 7-digits will not go through after October 24, 2021, in any of the three area codes and a recording will inform you that your call cannot be completed as dialed. Customers will not have to change phone numbers and the price of the call will not change due to the dialing change.
Customers must continue to dial 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline until July 16, 2020 when the dialing “988” will route calls.
To learn more, visit the FCC website https://www.fcc.gov/suicide-prevention-hotline. Answers to Frequently Asked Questions can also be found on the ICC website.