3 Things You Should Do Now to Prepare for 10-Digit Dialing

3 Things You Should Do Now to Prepare for 10-Digit Dialing

All South Dakota residents will be required to dial 10 digits — area code plus phone number — when making a call starting on June 22, 2022. Think of the bright side: it’s an easy way to add a workout to your daily routine. If you make a lot of calls, that extra exercise for your fingers might just earn you a chocolate chip cookie.

Before heading for the cookie jar, there are some important steps you should take to prepare for mandatory 10-digit dialing.

Make These Changes Now

Golden West has been alerting customers of this impending change for nearly a year. If you haven’t yet gotten into the habit it’ll soon become second nature; if you forget to dial all 10 digits, your call won’t go through, and you’ll be prompted to try again.

While it will be impossible to forget to dial 10 digits, it’s easy to overlook other things. Don’t forget to complete these steps before the switchover on June 22:

    1. Reprogram all automatic dialing equipment from seven to 10 digits. This applies to more than just telephones. Security systems and gates, medical monitoring devices, fax machines, speed dialers, call forwarding settings, and other similar equipment.
    2. Update all business listings. Be sure to change your phone number from seven to 10 digits on your website, social media accounts, email signatures, and anywhere else you have an online presence.
    3. Don’t forget printed materials, too. We may live in an increasingly digital world, but print isn’t dead yet. You’ll want to update your business cards, stationery, checks, business brochures, advertising materials, and other printed collateral to include the area code, as well.

Doing these things now can save you the hassle of a last-minute scramble after June 22 – and could even save your life.

Why the Move to 10-Digit Dialing?

Dialing three extra digits may seem like a hassle, but there’s a good reason for it. The move to 10-digit dialing — which affects landlines, cellphones, and PBX and VoIP systems — is necessary to pave the way for a new number for the national suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotline, which is going live in July.

To make it easier for individuals in need to find help, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) designated 988 as a three-digit abbreviated dial code for the hotline. This means all states with a 988 prefix must implement 10-digit dialing to ensure calls will be routed to the crisis hotline. There are 82 area codes in 36 states affected, including the 605 area code in South Dakota.

Change is inevitable, and there are only a handful of places where seven-digit dialing still exists. Prepare now and you’ll be a 10-digit pro in no time!




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