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10-Digit Dialing Begins For 716 Users On Sunday

Starting next week, all telephone calls will need to include an area code.

Beginning Sunday, users must dial 10 digits — area code and telephone number — for all calls. On and after this date, calls dialed with only seven digits may not be completed, and a recording will inform you that your call cannot be completed as dialed. You must hang up and dial again using the area code and the 7-digit number.

This change is going into effect due to the Federal Communications Commission adopting 988 as a new three-digit number to be used nationwide to reach the National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline, starting July 16. Customers must continue to dial 1-800-273-TALK to reach the Lifeline until that day.

In order for 988 to work in the 716 area code, 10-digit local dialing must first be implemented.

In addition to changing the way users dial local calls, all services, automatic dialing equipment, or other types of equipment that are programmed to complete calls to seven-digit local numbers will need to be reprogrammed to complete calls to 10-digit numbers. Some examples 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. Be sure to check your website, personal and business stationery, advertising materials, personal and business checks, contact information, your personal or pet ID tags, and other such items to ensure the area code is included.

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