Amarillo residents soon having to dial (806) area code before making calls
Here’s when it will go into effect and why it is happening.
AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Amarillo residents will soon be required to dial 10-digits instead of 7-digits when making local calls.
Starting October 24, people will have to dial the (806) area code followed by the phone number.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has adopted 988 as a new 3-digit number that will be used nationwide to reach the National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline.
What this means is when people dial 988, they will automatically get connected to the hotline, very similar to when someone would dial 911 looking for emergency response.
In the Amarillo area, there are phone numbers that use 988 as a prefix (the first-3 digits of the 7-digit phone number).
Dialing 10-digits will prevent people who accidentally dial 7-digits, end up at the lifeline.
“Now in the Amarillo area we have phone numbers that use 988 as a prefix. The first three-digits of your seven-digit phone number. One of the reasons that we have to make a change in Amarillo is to avoid accidentally triggering someone dialing seven digits, not 10 digits and then ending up at the Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline,” said Michael Horton, regional vice president of local market engagement for Suddenlink Communications.
The FCC is recommending callers dial with 10-digits now or as soon as possible to get used to the new process.
“Now with the Suicide Prevention hotline or lifeline, 988 is the newest entrant to that three-digit dialing which pretty much is going to move most of the customer base to the 10-digit dialing. That way there’s just no confusion, there’s no miss dials and then we don’t overload an emergency system that’s really bound for something as critical as the Suicide Prevention Lifeline,” said Horton.
Once this goes into effect, if you dial 7-digits, even if making a local call, you will reach a recording prompting you to hang up and dial again using both the area code along with the 7-digit telephone number.
“This 10-digit dialing is really a sign of the times that we have more telephone numbers in use with cellular as well as with landline phone system and as the result; it’s almost like a license plate number. You really have to add more digits to be able to complete the call or to be able to successfully differentiate that numeric sequence,” said Horton.
Amarillo is not the only city in Texas that will have this change.
On this map below, the cities highlighted in blue will also be required to dial 10-digits starting October 24.
You can find more information about the change here.
You can also find more on the FCC website.
Copyright 2021 KFDA. All rights reserved.