10-digit dialing will soon be required in 830 area code
Starting on Saturday, April 24, Texans with phone numbers in the 830 area code should get in the habit of dialing 10 digits (area code + telephone number) for all local calls. Last July, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued an Order approving 988 as the three-digit abbreviated dialing code for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The Order requires all telecommunications providers to make any network changes necessary to ensure 988 access by July 16, 2022. Several Texas area codes, including 830, have numbers with a 988 prefix (in 830, Sabinal has the 988 prefix). So, 830 must transition from seven-digit to 10-digit local dialing. Other affected area codes in Texas include 254, 361, 409, 806, 915 and 940. April 24 marks the beginning of a “permissive dialing period” in which callers can still complete a call with seven-digit dialing. When that period expires on Oct. 24, only calls dialed with ten digits will be connected. After the permissive dialing period, local calls dialed with only seven digits will reach a recording prompting them to hang up and dial again using the area code and seven-digit number. Important safety and security equipment, such as medical alert devices, and alarm and security systems must be programmed to use 10-digit dialing. Many systems operate on 10-digit dialing by default, but some older equipment may still use seven-digits. Also, any needed reprogramming of alarm and home security equipment must be done during the permissive dialing period to avoid interruption of those services. Some other examples of services that may need to be re-programmed are: • life safety systems or medical monitoring devices • PBXs • 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 • voicemail services and other similar functions. • Customers should also ensure the area code is included in all other places where a telephone number is displayed like their websites, personal and business stationery, advertising materials, personal and business checks, and even personal or pet ID tags. Customers can still dial just three digits to reach 711 (relay services) and 911 (emergency services). If 211, 311, 411, 511, 611, or 811 are currently available in a community, they can still be dialed with just three digits. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can still be reached by dialing 1-800-273-TALK (8255) even after the 988 code is in effect. Beginning July 16, 2022, dialing 988 will route calls to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Customers must continue to dial 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) to reach the Lifeline until July 16, 2022.