Wednesday, October 27, 2021

When dialing the 218 area code, use ten digits

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Residents in the 218 area code in northern Minnesota will be required to dial 10 digits (area code + phone number) for all local calls starting Oct. 24.

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

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.

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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.

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.

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

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

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.

News Summary:

  • When dialing the 218 area code, use ten digits
  • Check all news and articles from the latest Security news updates.
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