PIERRE, S.D. – Beginning on April 24, South Dakotans are encouraged to start using 10-digit dialing (605 area code + phone number) to make all local phone calls. This transition is a necessary first step in the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) move to establish 988 as a new three-digit dialing code for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and will be required beginning as early as October 24, 2021, and no later than July 15, 2022, depending on your telephone provider.
In addition to changing your dialing patterns, the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission recommends you take steps to update all contact lists ahead of the upcoming deadlines.
“An unfortunate byproduct of the FCC’s efforts to establish an easy-to-use suicide prevention hotline number is the upcoming requirement for all of us to use the full 10 digits including area code when dialing a phone number. Whenever possible, preprogram frequently used numbers into your phone to make this conversion easier,” recommended PUC Chairman Chris Nelson.
The PUC also suggests you take the time to update or reprogram all services, automatic dialing equipment or other types of equipment that may be programmed to complete calls using only seven-digit phone numbers.