Fulton Telephone Company (FTC) is advising all customers of new procedures beginning this year.
On July 16, 2020 the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted an order approving 988 as the three-digit abbreviated dialing code to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline starting July 16, 2022. The 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.
In order for 988 to work, every customer with seven-digit local dialing must be transitioned to 10-digit (or 1+10-digit in CA and parts of IL).
The FCC ordered that any area code that has the 988 prefix assigned as telephone numbers and has seven-digit local dialing be transitioned to 10-digit (area code + telephone number) local dialing to ensure everyone is able to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline using the three-digit 988 code.
A permissive dialing period will begin April 24. in which customers should dial 10 digits (area code + telephone number) to complete local calls. If you forget and dial just seven-digits, your call will still be completed.
Beginning October 24, customers will need to dial 10 digits (area code + telephone number) to complete all local calls. On and after this date, local calls dialed with only seven-digits may not be completed, and a recording may inform you that your call cannot be completed as dialed.
Any safety and security equipment, such as medical alert devices, and alarm and security systems that still use seven-digit dialing will need to be reprogrammed to use 10-digit dialing.
You can contact your medical alert or security provider if you are not sure whether equipment needs to be reprogrammed to accommodate the upcoming change to 10-digit local dialing. Any needed reprogramming of alarm and home security equipment should be done during the permissive dialing period of April 24, 2021 to October 24, 2021 to avoid interruption of services. Some other examples of services that may need to be re-programmed are:
• life safety systems or medical monitoring devices
• 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
If you have any questions or comments, please call the FTC office at 662-862-5000.