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Area code (906) ‘permissive dialing period’ begins Saturday in Upper Michigan

Known as 10-digit dialing, the requirement comes as part of the rollout of a new way to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
10-digit dialing will soon be required for all calls in Michigan's 906 area code, which covers...
10-digit dialing will soon be required for all calls in Michigan's 906 area code, which covers the entire Upper Peninsula.(WLUC)
Published: Apr. 23, 2021 at 4:06 PM EDT
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UPPER PENINSULA, Mich. (WLUC) - Telephone users in four Michigan area codes, including in Upper Michigan, will soon be required to include an area code in every phone call.

Known as 10-digit dialing, the requirement comes as part of the rollout of a new way to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

Callers in Michigan’s 616, 810, 906 and 989 area codes should start dialing with 10 digits (area code plus telephone number) on Saturday, April 24, 2021, the start date for what’s called a permissive dialing period designed to get customers used to the new requirement of including an area code when dialing, even for local calls.

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.

In many area codes across the country, 988 is already used as the prefix, or first three digits after the area code, of customer telephone numbers. In Upper Michigan, it serves the Ewen area of Ontonagon County.

In order for 988 to dial directly to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, any area code that includes the 988 prefix must transition from 7-digit dialing (dialing without the area code) to 10-digit dialing (area code with the telephone number).

In Michigan, that means every customer in the 616, 810, 906, and 989 area codes must make the transition. Customers in other Michigan area codes aren’t affected by these changes at this time.

Beginning Oct. 24, 2021, all consumers with numbers in the affected Michigan area codes above must dial 10 digits for all local calls. Beginning that day, local calls dialed with only 7 digits may not be completed, and a recording may inform you that your call cannot be completed as dialed. If you get this recording, you must hang up and dial again using the area code with the 7-digit telephone number.

Learn more by clicking here.

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