The 309 area code must transition to 10-digit dialing by Sunday

Local News

PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — The 309 area code currently allows seven-digit phone number dialing, meaning callers do not have to type in the area code on a phone to make a call. But that is all changing Sunday, Oct. 24.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is creating another three-digit emergency line other than 911. Starting in 2022, dialing 988 will direct phones to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

The president of Peoria Communications said the FCC authorized the new 988 emergency line as a response to the increase in mental health crisis calls during the pandemic.

According to the Illinois Broadband and Telecommunications Association (IBTA), this change only affects area codes that have 988 as a prefix, and area code 309 is one of them.

“Once it’s fully implemented in July in 2022, and 988 is used as the number to reach the suicide prevention lifeline, then calls that start with dialing 988 would be routed directly to that lifeline,” said Randy Nehrt, President of IBTA. “So it’s important that providers, carriers implement 10-digit dialing, and that consumers become aware of that.”

But until July 16, 2022, to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, you still need to dial 1 (800) 273-TALK or 1 (800) 273-8255.

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