I somehow missed this news from a few months back, but did you know that dialing (605) in front of every local phone call you make will soon be mandatory here in South Dakota?

It's not because our population base is growing by leaps and bounds, it actually stems from a change the Federal Communications Commission is putting into play that will establish (988) as a new three-digit code for a National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

Back in April, South Dakota PUC Chairman Chris Nelson told Dakota News Now, "The mandatory switch requiring area codes is an “unfortunate byproduct” of the FCC’s efforts. Their intention is for that number to become as well known as 9-1-1. And in order to do that and set that number aside, they can’t then allow that number to be used in telephone numbers as the three-digit prefix.”

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According to Dakota News Now, the PUC is advising people to get in the habit of using 10-digit dialing (605 area code + phone number) right away to avoid problems once it becomes mandatory soon. The change is scheduled to take place sometime between October 24 of this year, and July 15, 2022.

When the actual change does occur is dependant on your telephone provider.

Considering we are closing in on the month of October before you know it, now would be a good time to get in the habit of preparing for this eventual switchover.

The PUC also recommends you begin to update all of your contact lists ahead of the upcoming deadlines as well.

Over (80) different area codes in 36 different states are being affected by a move that will pave the way to easy connection to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

Source: Dakota News Now

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