October 22, 2021 – Midland residents are reminded that beginning Sunday, October 24, local phone calls will require the entire 10-digit number, including area code, to be completed. This includes dialing the 989 area code to contact all City facilities by phone.
The change is in preparation for the July 16, 2022, activation of a new 3-digit dialing code - 988 - to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in July 2020 designated 988 as the abbreviated dialing code to reach the suicide prevention hotline that provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources, and best practices for professionals. The FCC's order requires all telecommunications carriers, interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) providers, and one-way VoIP providers (covered providers) to make any network changes necessary to ensure that users can dial 988 to reach the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by July 16, 2022. Until then, customers must continue to dial 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) to reach the Lifeline.
Important safety and security equipment, such as medical alert devices and alarm and security systems must be programmed to use 10-digit dialing by October 24. Many systems operate on 10-digit dialing by default, but some older equipment may still use 7 digits.
Other examples of services that may need to be re-programmed are:
- Life safety systems or medical monitoring devices
- PBX business telephone systems
- Fax machines
- Internet dial-up numbers
- Fire or burglar alarm and security systems or gates
- Speed dialers
- Mobile or other wireless phone contact lists
- Call forwarding settings, and
- Voicemail services and other similar functions
For more information on this change, please visit www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/ten-digit-dialing.