10-Digit Dialing Coming to Minnesota’s 218, 952 Area Codes
FCC: Use new dialing process starting Oct. 24, 2021
The longtime habit of dialing 7-digits for local calls in Minnesota will soon be a thing of days gone by.
A new rule adopted by the Federal Communications Commission will soon require anyone dialing local phone numbers in many states to include the three-digit area code of their state or region. The change applies to landlines, cell phones and VoIP phone systems.
A 10-digit dialling standard is being implemented in 35 states, including the 218 and 952 area codes in Minnesota, to ensure that, by July 16, 2022, all calls to the number 988 will be routed to the National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline. The rule does not affect North Dakota and its 701 area code, or any other Minnesota area codes.
Arvig is using the transition time to notify phone customers and ensure that all the necessary network changes and phone system preparations are in place before the rule takes effect.
The free, U.S.-based hotline has been designated a simplified three-digit calling code to make it easier to memorize and connect Americans in crisis with suicide prevention and mental health crisis counselors.
Until July 26, 2022, the hotline will remain operational at its original number, 800-273-8255 (800-273-TALK). Additionally, service members who dial that number plus the digit 1 to reach the Veterans Crisis Line (800-273-8255-1) will be connected as usual until then.
Changes ahead for phone customers
For local calling, the FCC rule takes effect sooner than the July 2022 transition to 988. Beginning Oct. 24, 2021, the public should dial 10 digits for all local calls. Arvig will implement the change on its system effective Jan. 18, 2022.
In Minnesota, 10-digit dialing is going into effect for the 218 and 952 area codes. On and after that date, local calls dialed with only seven digits may not be completed, and a recording will inform the user that the call cannot be completed as dialed. Other Minnesota area codes are not affected by the change. A soft rollout of 10-digit dialing began April 24, 2021, when the FCC began recommending callers use the new process in preparation for the Oct. 24 deadline.
In addition to changing the way you dial local calls, all services, automatic-dialing equipment, and other types of equipment that are programmed to complete calls to 7-digit local numbers will need to be reprogrammed to complete calls to 10-digit numbers. Some examples are: life safety systems or medical monitoring devices, PBXs, internet dial-up numbers, fax machines, fire or burglar alarm and security systems or gates, speed dialers, mobile or other wireless phone contact lists, voicemail services, call forwarding settings and other similar functions.
People are advised to check websites, personal and business stationery, advertising materials, personal and business checks, contact information, your personal or pet ID tags and other such items to ensure the area code is included. People are being urged to contact the service provider or device manufacturer to see if their device will work under the new standard.
What will remain the same?
Telephone numbers, including current area code, will not change. The price of a call, coverage area, or other rates and services will not change as a result of the dialing change.
- What is a local call now will remain a local call regardless of the number of digits dialed.
- You will continue to dial 1+ area code + telephone number for all long distance calls.
- You can still dial just three digits to reach 711 (relay services) and 911 (emergency services).
- Any 211, 311, 411, 511, 611 or 811 services can still be reached by dialing their 3-digit codes.
- The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can still be reached by dialing 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
For a complete list of resources to help you prepare for the change, visit arvig.net/10digitdialing.