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Mandatory 10-Digit Dialing Coming to Eastern Washington and Montana

Starting Oct. 24, 2021, local calls in 82 area codes across 35 states will require 10-digit dialing (area code plus the 7-digit phone number).


The FCC has designated 988 as the new, nationwide, 3-digit abbreviated code for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The 988 hotline will offer people in crisis an easy way to connect with suicide prevention and mental health crisis counselors. Many locations that currently allow 7-digit dialing for local phone calls include the 988 prefix. Once the hotline goes live, callers in those area codes will have to start dialing all 10-digits, including the area code for local calls.

What’s Changing

Other than requiring the area code for in-state calls, existing numbers won’t change. All calls currently considered a local call will remain local even though the area code is required. Numbers called outside of the state will still require dialing 1+ number. Three-digit dialing services, such as the 911 emergency number, will continue to work as a three-digit number with no need to dial an area code.

Business Impact

Organizations with call processing systems will need to update their dial plan workflow to include the area code for outside numbers before Oct. 24, 2021. This includes automated dialing equipment such as fire alarm systems, security systems, life-saving systems, medical monitoring devices, mobile/wireless contact lists, call forward settings, and other automated dialing systems.

Who is Affected

Across the markets Cerium Networks serves, Eastern Washington (509 area code) and Montana (406 area code) are phasing in 10 digit dialing for local calls by Oct. 24, 2021. A complete list of the area codes affected by this change can be found on the North American Numbering Plan Administrator website:

Are You Ready?

Is your organization ready for the transition to 10 digit dialing? You may want to consider conducting a dial plan assessment. We can help. With over 20 years of designing, deploying, and supporting Cisco, Avaya, and Microsoft communication solutions for organizations across Washington and Montana, Cerium Networks communications experts can help you optimize your dial plan to enhance user dialing experiences.

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