10-digit phone dialing coming to 218 area code – Pine and Lakes Echo Journal

On and after this date, local calls dialed with only seven digits may not be completed, and a recording may inform customers that their call cannot be completed as dialed. The recording will ask customers to please hang up and redial with 10 digits.

TDS Telecom is alerting its customers in northern Minnesota about the upcoming changes, a news release said.

Those living in the 218 area code in Minnesota will soon be required to dial 10 digits for calls starting Oct. 24.
Contributed / TDS

Those living in the 218 area code in Minnesota will soon be required to dial 10 digits for calls starting Oct. 24.
Contributed / TDS

Before Oct. 24, customers should reprogram automatic dialing equipment and other devices now programmed with seven digits. Residents and businesses should check with security or alarm companies to make sure their systems are programmed to handle the new 10-digit dialing pattern.

Products that will need to be changed to 10-digits could include: life safety systems, VoIP and Private Branch Exchange (PBX) systems, electronic telephone sets, auto-dial systems, multi-line key systems, fax machines, internet dial-up numbers, alarm and security systems, gates, speed dialers, call forwarding settings, and voicemail services.

All such devices will need to be reprogrammed with 10-digits by Oct. 24.

Residents and businesses should also check their business stationery or advertising materials to ensure the area code is included.

This new change to 10-digit dialing will prevent people from calling the new 9-8-8 emergency phone line by mistake.

Beginning July 16, 2022, dialing 9-8-8 will connect people to the National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline, as proposed by the Federal Communications Commission. The FCC hopes that a shorter, easy-to-remember number will more efficiently provide people with help when they need it most.

However, until July 16, 2022, people should continue to call 1-800-273-TALK to reach the Lifeline.

In an emergency that requires immediate assistance from the police, fire department, or ambulance, dialing 911 is still the number customers should use.

Important information to note:

  • Your phone number and area code will remain the same.
  • The price for both local and long-distance calling will not change for TDS customers.
  • Long-distance calls will still be made by dialing 1 + area code + phone number.
  • Make sure anything that uses or displays your phone number or the phone numbers of others is updated to include the area code. This could include any of the following: business stationery and marketing materials, home security systems, contact lists, voicemail services, fax machines and life safety systems.

For more information regarding any information provided in this notice, call 1-888-CALL-TDS or visit www.tdstelecom.com. Or visit the FCC website at https://www.fcc.gov/suicide-prevention-hotline.

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