You Might Need to Dial 10 Numbers for Local Calls Soon in Minnesota
There's a national change happening soon that could cause you to have to dial 10 numbers-- even for local calls-- here in Minnesota.
Not that we make as many calls are we all used to before texting become a thing, but sometimes we all have to make a call on our phones-- and how you do that could be changing here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes and across the country.
An email from Metronet to their telephone service subscribers details the change, and it all has to do with the Federal Communications Commission designating 9-8-8 to be used as a new three-digit number to be used nationwide to reach the National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline (much like 9-1-1 is used for emergency services right now.)
That change won't take effect until next July. (if you need help now, you still have dial 800-273-TALK to reach the Lifeline through July 16, 2022.) But there IS a change that is happening next month regarding that new three-digit Lifeline number:
You might have to dial all 10 digits-- even while making a local call-- in parts of Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois starting October 24, 2021. This new change is set to affect you if you have a number with the following Minnesota area codes: 218, 605, 608, 952. It also affects Iowa area codes 319, 515 as well as Illinois area codes 309, 618, 708.
Here's what Metronet said:
What will be the new dialing procedure?
To complete all local calls, you will now need to dial the area code + telephone number. This applies to all calls within your area code that are currently dialed with seven digits.
Who will be affected?
Anyone with a telephone number from your area code will need to make a change from 7-digit local dialing to 10-digit local dialing.
When will the change begin?
Beginning October 24, 2021, you must dial 10 digits (area code + telephone number) for all local calls. On and after this date, local calls dialed with only 7 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 new change could affect you (if you're in one of the above codes) if you use automatic dialing equipment, or if you have other types of equipment that are programmed to complete calls to 7-digit local numbers-- they will need to be reprogrammed to complete calls to 10-digit numbers.
Metronet said 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.
Hopefully, this change won't cause too much of a headache if you're affected. But it just goes to show how much things can change when it comes to technology. Speaking of that, keep scrolling to check out a few familiar items from the year you were born that don't exist anymore!