Thursday, April 8, 2021
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Ten-digit dialing is coming to northern Mississippi this year.
Customers in the 662 area code will have to start dialing that code along with the seven-digit phone number to complete local calls. The change will enable a new suicide prevention hotline.
Beginning April 24, customers can begin dialing 10 digits in the 662 code. That includes people in Southaven, Oxford, Tupelo, Columbus, Starkville, Greenwood and Greenville. If a customer only dials seven digits, a call will still go through.
Starting Oct. 24, 10 digits will be mandatory and a call won't be completed without the area code.
Somos Inc., which administers the North American area code plan, made the announcement last week
The north Mississippi region is among 82 area codes nationwide making room for the 988 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which begins operation in July 2022. Because those 82 area codes use 988 for the first three numbers of some seven-digit phone numbers, the Federal Communications Commission ordered 10-digit dialing. Otherwise, phones won't recognize when someone is trying to call the 988 suicide hotline.
Somos said people should reprogram medical alert devices, security and other systems.
Customers around Jackson have long dialed 10 digits for local calls. Many phones in Jackson are in the 601 area code, but some use 769.