Ten-digit dialing will begin soon in Kansas area codes 785 and 620. Gov. Laura Kelly said the change will make it easier for persons in crisis to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
“Ten-digit dialing will help those in crisis reach the appropriate resources during their time of need,” Kelly said this week. “I encourage all Kansans to get used to using ten-digit dialing during the trial period to avoid any confusion after October 24, 2021.”
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 by the FCC to adopt 10-digit dialing. That includes Kansas area codes 785 and 620, which cover the majority of the state. Gorham Telephone Company uses the 988 exchange in the Dorrance area and a mobile service uses it in the Coffeyville area. In total, 82 area codes in 36 states will make the change.
It will take time to get in the habit of using 10-digit dialing (example: 620-792-1211 for the Great Bend Tribune), so a practice period has been established. Callers are encouraged to begin using 10-digit calling now. Any calls dialed with 7-digits will still go through during this practice period.
Beginning October 24, callers in 785 and 620 area codes must use 10-digit dialing or the call will not go through. The only exceptions are any three-digit abbreviated numbers available in the community, such as 911. Callers will still dial 1 + the area code and telephone number for all long distance calls.
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).
More information about the change to 10-digit dialing is available on the KCC’s website https://kcc.ks.gov/ and from telephone providers.