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National Suicide Prevention | Mandatory 11-digits in the 209 Area Code

Mountain Communities – In continued preparation for the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) adoption of 988 as the new three-digit number to be used nationwide to reach the National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline, 11-digit dialing is being implemented.

However, callers must continue to dial 1-800-273-TALK to reach the Mental Health Crisis Lifeline until July 16, 2022.

For 988 to work in the 209 area code, 11-digit local dialing will be implemented on January 11, 2022. At that time, the courtesy messages in place since April 24, 2021, will be changed to require 11 digits to complete all calls.

What will be the new dialing procedure?

To complete all local calls, you must dial 1 + area code + telephone number. This applies to all calls within your area code that are currently dialed with seven digits, including your neighbors. For example, you will dial 1-209-966-3636 to reach Sierra Tel.

Who will be affected?

Anyone with a telephone number in the 209 area code will need to change from 7-digit local dialing to 11-digit local dialing.

When will the change begin?

Beginning January 11, 2022, you must dial 11 digits (1 + area code + telephone number) for all local calls. On and after this date, local calls dialed with only seven 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 1 + area code and the 7-digit number.

Beginning July 16, 2022, dialing “988” will route your call to the National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline.

What will remain the same?

  • Your telephone number, including the current area code, will not change.
  • The price of a call, coverage area, or other rates and services will not change due to the dialing change.
  • What is considered a local call now will remain a local call regardless of the number of digits dialed.
  • You will continue to dial 1+ area code + telephone number for all long-distance calls.
  • You can still dial just three digits to reach 711 (relay services) and 911 (emergency services).
  • Any 211, 311, 411, 511, 611, or 811 services available in your community can still bereached by dialing their three-digit codes.
  • The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can still be reached by dialing 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Who may you contact with questions?

If you have any questions regarding the information provided in this notice, please call Sierra Tel at 209-966-3636 or access Sierra Tel for more information. You can also visit the FCC hotline.

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