Federal communications officials are reminding all Delawareans that they will need to dial the area code and 7-digit phone number on local calls starting later this month.
The change is due to a decision made by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) last summer when the agency adopted rules to establish 9-8-8 as the new, nationwide phone number for Americans in crisis to connect with suicide prevention and mental health crisis counselors.
To ensure that calls to 988 reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, all covered providers are required to implement 10-digit dialing in areas that use 988 as the first three numbers in seven-digit phone numbers. Delaware is one of the areas with a 988 exchange.
Beginning October 24, consumers must dial 10-digits (area code + telephone number) for all local calls. On and after this date, local calls dialed with only 7 digits may not be connected. In such cases, a recording will inform callers that the call cannot be completed as dialed.