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480, 520, 928 Arizona area codes must be dialed before number to make a call after FCC approves new 3-digit dialing code

The Arizona Corporation Commission is encouraging people to get into the habit of dialing the area code before a number after the FCC approved a new dialing code.
Credit: 12 News

PHOENIX — Beginning Saturday, people with phone numbers in the 480, 520 and 928 area codes are encouraged to start dialing 10-digits, area code plus phone number, for all local calls to prepare for a coming FCC order, a statement from the Arizona Corporation Commission stated. 

This is known as a "permissive dialing period" because if you forget and dial just seven digits, your call will still be completed.

Beginning Oct. 24, everyone with numbers in the 480, 520 and 928 area codes must dial 10-digits for all local calls. 

Local calls dialed with only seven digits may not go through and a recording may inform you that your call cannot be completed as dialed. If you get this recording, you must hang up and dial again using the area code with the seven-digit telephone number, the statement said.

Contacts on your cell phone will likely save with the full number, including area code, which will mean the call will be completed. 

The FCC adopted an order to approve 988 as the three-digit abbreviated dialing code to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on July 16, 2020. The new dialing code will be live on July 16, 2022. 

In order for 988 to work in Arizona area codes, dialing must be transitioned to 10-digit dialing. 

"The FCC ordered that any area code that has the 988 prefix assigned as telephone numbers and has seven-digit local dialing be transitioned to 10-digit (area code + phone number) local dialing to ensure everyone is able to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline using the three-digit 988 code," the statement said. 

Safety and security equipment, such as medical devices and security systems, will have to be re-programmed to use 10-digit dialing. It is likely many systems already have 10-digit dialing by default.   

Some other examples of services that may need to be re-programmed are:

  • Life safety systems or medical monitoring devices
  • PBXs
  • Fax machines
  • Internet dial-up numbers
  • Fire or burglar alarm and security systems or gates
  • Speed dialers
  • Mobile or other wireless phone contact lists
  • Call forwarding settings
  • Voicemail services and other similar functions 

What will remain the same?

  • Your telephone number, including current area code, will not change
  • The price of a call, coverage area, or other rates and services will not change due to the dialing change
  • What is a local call now will remain a local call regardless of the number of digits dialed
  • You will continue to dial 1+ the area code + telephone number for all long-distance calls
  • You will continue to dial a prefix (such as ‘9’) when dialing from a multi-line telephone system (e.g., in a hotel, office building, etc.) as required
  • You can still dial just three digits to real 711 (relay services) and 911 (emergency services)
  • If 211, 311, 411, 511, 611, or 811 are currently available in your community, dial these codes with just three digits
  • The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can still be reached by dialing 1-800-273-TALK (8255) even after the 988 code is in effect

Beginning July 16, 2022, dialing 988 will route your call to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Customers must continue to dial 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to reach the Lifeline until July 16, 2022.