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You’ll soon need to dial 804 to make a local call - here’s why

Callers will soon have to dial 804 to make a local call after a three-digit National Suicide...
Callers will soon have to dial 804 to make a local call after a three-digit National Suicide Prevention Lifeline was approved.(Pixabay)
Published: Dec. 14, 2020 at 12:18 PM EST|Updated: Oct. 18, 2021 at 4:25 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Callers will soon have to dial 804 to make a local call after a three-digit National Suicide Prevention Lifeline was approved.

The three-digit number, which is 988, was approved by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) earlier this year and will impact two Virginia area codes: 804 (Richmond region) and 276 (southwest Virginia region).

988 is an existing working prefix for local exchanges in those area codes that currently permit seven-digit dialing to make a local call. Eventually, dialing 988 will directly reach callers to the NSPL line.

The State Corporation Commission, the FCC and the telephone industry are reminding consumers of this change in the 804 and 276 area codes.

The timeline for implementation:

  • October 24, 2021 – mandatory 10-digit dialing required for all local calls
  • July 16, 2022 – 988 for NSPL is active

Very little else will change for telephone users inside the 804 and 276 area codes.

The NSPL is and will always be available at 1-800-273-8255.

Other three-digit services like 211, 711, 811, and 911 are not affected.

Telephone numbers, coverage areas, local call boundaries, and area code numbers remain the same.

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