Alaska to go from 7-digit local dialing to 10-digit starting October 2021

(AP Photo/Jenny Kane, File)
(AP Photo/Jenny Kane, File)(KY3)
Published: Nov. 20, 2020 at 10:20 AM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Come Oct. 24, 2021, Alaskans will have to get used to pressing three more buttons when they want to call someone.

Regulatory Commission of Alaska says, on July 16, the Federal Communications Commission adopted an order approving the destination of “988″ as the 3-digit abbreviated dialing code for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. This then made it a requirement for, “all telecommunications carriers, interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol providers, and one-way VoIP providers to make any network changes necessary to ensure that users can dial 988 to reach the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) starting July 16, 2022.”

Alaska is one of 37 states and 83 area codes being impacted.

The RCA says you will not have to change your number, but starting on April 21, 2021, you should start dialing 10-digits for all local calls. If you forget, your calls will still be completed but on Oct. 24, 2021, you’ll be required to dial 10-digits when making a local call in the state. This basically means you will need to dial “907″ before you make a local call to someone in Alaska.

The RCA recommends changing the dialing patterns for life safety systems or medical equipment, fax machines, security systems and any other equipment that is programmed to complete local calls using only 7-digit numbers.

Starting July 16, 2022, Alaskans will be able to dial ‘988″ to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

The RCA says things that will remain the same include your phone number, being able to dial 911, 711, 511, 611 and any other three digital services available in your community.

If you have questions, you can visit the RCA website for more information, call your local service provider or visit the FCC website.

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