Here’s what you need to know.
Starting October 24, 2021 all local calls will require you to dial area code 808 + telephone number. This mandatory change is part of a new Federal Communications Commission (FCC) effort to make contacting the National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline easier.
Who is affected?
- All Hawaii residents and businesses
What is the new dialing procedure?
- To complete a local call, starting October 24, 2021 you will need to dial area code 808 + telephone number.
- If you attempt to dial out without the area code, your call will not be placed and you will hear a recording notifying you to try again.
What do I need to do to prepare?
- Beginning today, you should start dialing the 10-digit number (area code + phone number) to get used to the new process (if you forget to do this, your 7-digit call will still go through until October 24, 2021).
- Update all automatic/speed dial equipment and settings, including:
- Life safety systems or medical monitoring devices
- Fax machines
- Fire or burglar alarm and security systems
- Speed dialers and contact list directories
- Call forwarding settings
- Businesses should also be mindful about updating their communication material, including: website, stationery/business cards, advertising materials, checks/invoices/billing communications, etc.
What will remain the same?
- Your telephone number(s) will all remain the same, including the area code.
- You will continue to dial 1 + area code + telephone number for all inter-island and long-distance calls. All inter-island and long-distance charges remain the same.
- Your Auto Attendant/IVR call flows already include the full 10-digit number and do not need to be updated.
- Your e911 and White Page Directory Listing phone numbers already include the full 10-digit number and do not need to be updated.
Why is the FCC making this change?
- The FCC adopted rules to establish the number 9-8-8 as the new, nationwide, three-digit phone number for Americans in crisis to connect with suicide prevention and mental health crisis counselors
- The 9-8-8 number will not go in effect until July 16, 2022. Until then, you will need to continue to dial 1-800-273-8255 to reach the National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline.