10-Digit Dialing Will Change How You Make Local Calls, Starting October 24th
Residents of multiple states, including Wisconsin, will be required to dial all 10 digits to make local calls within their area codes beginning October 24th, after 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 Line.

The change in the hotline number doesn't take place for more than a year; until July 16, 2022, people should continue to dial 1-800-273-TALK to reach the crisis hotline.

The three-digit number — 988 — that will be used to reach the suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotline had previously been assigned as a prefix in 82 area codes in 35 states and the U.S. territory of Guam.

In Wisconsin, the following area codes are affected by the switch to 10-digit dialing: 262, 414, 534, 608, 715, 920

Many people already have to use 10-digit dialing because of area code "overlays" — that is, regions where more than one area code is assigned because of demand for phone numbers.

After Oct. 24th callers who dial only seven digits are likely to get the familiar "your call cannot be completed as dialed" message.

Making the switch isn't as simple as adding the area code to local calls. Remember to reprogram automatic dialing equipment — for example, life safety systems or medical monitoring devices; fire, burglary and security alarm systems; speed dialers; cell phone contact lists; call forwarding services; voicemail services; and other similar functions. Also, change your email signature or stationery if they don't include the area code. You should literally think of everything that has your address on it, including your pet ID tags, and include the area code in the contact number.

Emergency service calls to 911 and 711 (a relay service used by people who are deaf or hearing impaired) will be made as they are now, by dialing the three digits. Any 211, 311, 411, 511, 611 or 811 services available in your community can still be reached by dialing their three-digit codes.

Read more on the 988 suicide crisis hotline.
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