SHALLOTTE, N.C. (WWAY) — ATMC has announced that landline telephone users will soon be required to dial the 910 area code in every phone call they place.
The change is part of a national rollout to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
The Federal Communications Commission adopted 988 as a new three-digit number to be used nationwide to reach the National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline.
In order for 988 to work in the 910 area code, 10-digit local dialing must first be implemented.
Callers should start dialing using 10 digits (area code plus telephone number) on Apr. 24, 2021, the start date for what is called a permissive dialing period designed to get customers accustomed to the new requirement of including an area code when dialing, even for local calls.
Callers who forget and dial only seven digits will still be connected during the transition period.
“The FCC is making this change in order to make it easier for someone to reach out and receive assistance when facing a mental health crisis,” said Keith Holden, ATMC CEO. “We are required to communicate this change with our customers so that a smooth transition can take place when 10-digit dialing becomes mandatory this fall.”
Beginning Oct. 24, 2021, all customers within the 910 area code must dial 10 digits for all local calls.
On October 24th, local calls dialed with only seven digits may not be completed, and a recording may inform callers that the call cannot be completed as dialed.
As a result of this change, telephone numbers, including the current area code, will not change.
In addition, the price of a call, coverage area, or other rates and services will not change due to the dialing change.
Important safety and security equipment, such as medical alert devices, and alarm and security systems must be reprogrammed if they do not currently use 10-digit dialing.
Any needed reprogramming of alarm and home security equipment must be done during the transition dialing period from Apr. 24, to Oct. 24 to avoid interruption of services.
For more information about 10-digit dialing, visit this website.