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More Numbers Needed to Make Local Phone Calls

Federal Communications Commission

Making local phone calls is going to become a little more complicated for residents of the Illinois Quad Cities. By the fall, local calls, like long distance, will require "dialing" or pressing, 10 digits instead of just seven.

It's the result of the Federal Communications Commission adopting a new three-digit number to be used nationwide to reach the National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline. The number will be 988 and it'll be available starting in July of next year (2022).

But the impact on local calls here will start much sooner. The FCC says starting next month (April), people in the 309 area code should start using all ten digits. During what's called a "permissive dialing period" local calls will still go through with only seven digits.

Then beginning October 24th, using 1 plus the area code plus the telephone number, will be required for local calls in the 309 area code.

This change does not affect local calls made in the 563 area code, including the Iowa Quad Cities and the eastern edge of the state - only seven digits will be needed. But the change to ten numbers will go into effect for both the 319 and 515 area codes.

A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois.