TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — Beginning this Saturday, April 24, Kansas residents with area codes 620 and 785 are being asked to dial the complete 10-digit phone number to make a call.
Starting Oct. 24, the 10-digit number will be required to make any phone calls that previously could be dialed with seven digits.
The change is related to the new National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chose the three-digit number, 988, to be the lifeline number starting in July 2022. When it goes into operation, it will immediately connect callers to suicide prevention hotlines. In the meantime, the suicide hotline is 1-800-273-8255.
The problem is that some area codes, like 620 and 785 in Kansas, already use 988 as the first 3 digits of their 7-digit phone numbers. Once 988 becomes the suicide hotline, if someone tries to dial 988-XXXX, they will reach the hotline instead of the person they are trying to reach.
Calls will still go through with seven digits until Oct. 24, at which time the area code for local calls will be mandatory. After Oct. 24, 2021, callers who do not dial the 10 digit number will not be able to complete the call.
The only exceptions are any three-digit abbreviated numbers available in the community, such as 911. Callers will still dial 1 + the area code and telephone number for all long-distance calls.
To learn more, check this document from the Kansas Corporation Commission or visit KCC.KS.gov.