TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNW) – Kansans who live in area codes 785 or 620 must use 10-digit dialing when making local calls as of Sunday, October 24.
Local calls dialed with only seven digits will not go through, and a recording will inform you that your call cannot be completed as dialed. While it may take some time to get used to, the change will make it easier for persons in crisis to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
Last July, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved 988 as the new abbreviated number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. As a result, any area code that uses the 988 prefix in telephone numbers is mandated to adopt 10-digit dialing. That includes Kansas area codes 785 and 620, which cover the majority of the state. In total, 82 area codes in 36 states will make the change.
The FCC initiated a practice period last April so callers could adjust to the change. Since then, callers have been allowed to use both 7-digit and 10-digit dialing. On Sunday, 10-digit local calling became mandatory with the exception of any three-digit abbreviated numbers available in the community, such as 911 and 811. Callers will still dial 1 + the area code and telephone number for all long-distance calls.
With the switch to 10-digit dialing in effect, residents are encouraged to make sure any services with automatic dialing equipment, such as life safety systems, medical monitoring devices, security systems and fire alarms, mobile phone contact lists and call forwarding settings are reprogrammed if needed.
Beginning July 16, 2022, callers can reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by calling 988. Until then, callers will continue to dial 1-800-273-8255 (TALK).