Good Question: Am I included in the switch to 10-digit dialing?

[anvplayer video=”5053412″ station=”998131″]

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — If you didn’t know, there’s a significant change coming this fall to how millions of people make calls.

The goal is to save lives.

All throughout the country people are getting alerts and reminders from cell phone companies that ten-digit dialing is coming to families with certain area codes.

585 is not one of them, but not everyone living here has a 585 number.

News10NBC’s Brennan Somers heard from some of you asking" what’s this 10 digit dialing about? why the change? This is a national rule coming from the Federal Communications Commission.

Last summer, the group decided to establish a new, easy to remember three-digit phone number for the suicide prevention hotline: 988.

The issue? There are dozens of area codes in more than half the country using "988" as the local exchange — the first three numbers to call someone using just seven digits. Again, not 585, we don’t have the 988 prefix. But if you have a Buffalo area code, one covering the Southern Tier, or the other area codes included downstate (516, 607, 716, 845, 914) this does matter.

Here’s the bottom line — the switch for all carriers and affected customers is Oct. 24.

On and after that date, local calls dialed with just seven digits won’t go through. You’ll have to redial using ten numbers. Starting next July, when you dial 988 you’ll go right to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.

For all the 315ers, you already have to dial 10 digits. That changed a few years ago and that adjustment is different from this issue. It’s happened in other places where they’ve had to add an extra area code to keep up with all of our phones.

Please remember during this transition to "988" if you or someone you know needs help, it is there 24/7. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.


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