There has been more than just one way to dial a phone number. As technology has changed, different systems, terms, and numbers have been used. When I was little if you lived within a certain city code so the first 3 digits of your phone number were the same, for example 644 for Solon, you could just dial the last four digits 1234. That has been gone for awhile, but you have still been able to dial the city code at the beginning and the last four digits, for example, 555-5555. It was only for long distance calls that took you out of your area code that you had to include it, otherwise they assumed it was the same area code as your phone number. So you would have to dial 555-555-5555, but only for a number outside of your area code. You often see them written as (555) 555-5555. For long distance numbers you’ll still have to add the 1 before the number.
Now the technology has changed again and the new technology requires more information. (Personally I thought it would go the other way and area codes would be dropped based on your current location since phones know that, but I was wrong.) So starting October 24, 2021, you will have to dial the entire number even for local calls. Some cell phones already required you to do this, but cell phone or landline you’ll have to use the full number after the 24th.
A big part of the reason is a new system with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You’ll only have to dial 988 to reach them. Their new system needs the additional information in order to better figure out where callers are from. So the rest of us are going to have to call it on every single call going forward.
This will not effect all area codes. In Iowa, it effect area codes 319 and 515. Check the table in the article to find a full list of area codes effected.
A lot of what follows is courtesy of Kirkwood’s information system.
10-Digit Phone Calls
What is it?
- Phones will require 10-digits to process local calls starting on October 24th, 2021. In Iowa, the 319 and 515 area codes will be effected.
Why is it happening?
- A new 3-digit National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (988) will be implemented by July of 2022. In order for this to happen, many area/office code exchanges across the country need to change their systems to accommodate it. After October 24th, 2021, 7-digit dialing may not complete, prompting a recorded announcement reminding you to use 10 digits.
Other systems you will want to check include but are not limited to:
- Life safety systems
- Medical monitoring devices
- Fire/Burglar alarm and security systems
- Mobile or wireless phone contact lists
- Business stationary, advertising materials, pre-printed checks
- Personal or pet ID tags