HONOLULU — Beginning Saturday, April 24, callers in Hawai‘i are encouraged to dial the area code (808 for land lines and many cell phones in the state) plus the telephone number when making local calls, six months before this will be required for local calls to be completed.
The change to 10-digit dialing for local calls is driven by the Federal Communications Commission’s adoption of an order (FCC 20-100) that approved 988 as the three-digit dialing code to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, starting on July 16, 2022.
The order requires all telecommunications carriers such as Hawaiian Telcom, 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 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by July 16, 2022.
Hawai‘i is among 36 states that use the 988 prefix, and must transition to 10-digit dialing for local calls.
April 24 through Oct. 23 is when 10-digit dialing is encouraged, but seven-digit calls will still go through.
Beginning on Oct. 24, callers in Hawai‘i must dial the area code plus telephone number, or local calls will not be completed.
Safety and security equipment, such as medical-alert and monitoring devices, and alarms, security systems and gates, must be programmed to use 10-digit dialing by Oct. 24 to avoid interruption.
Contact medical-alert or security providers if unsure whether equipment needs to be reprogrammed to accommodate the upcoming change.