FCC is asking people use 10-digit phone numbers even while making calls in New Mexico

Hannah Grover
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON — New Mexicans making phone calls will soon have to include the area code, even while making in-state calls.

The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission, which regulates telecommunications, issued a press release on March 23 announcing the change.

According to the press release, people should begin using the 10-digit number while calling starting on April 24. While calls will continue to be completed even if they do not include the area code, April 24 marks the start of the 10-digit permissive dialing period.

On Oct. 24, 10-digit dialing will become mandatory. That means people who do not include the area code while trying to make a call will not have the call go through. An automated recording will instead advise them that the area code must be included.

This change is being implemented by the Federal Communications Commission, which is coordinating efforts with the various telecommunications carriers. 

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The 10-digit requirement is prompted by the FCC implementing a new, three-digit number for the National Suicide Prevention Hotline. People who are feeling like they might harm themselves will be able to receive help and support by calling 988. 

There is no area code 988, however there are some parts of the country with 988 as the telephone prefix, or the three digits following the area code in the 10-digit number. New Mexico is one of the places with the 988 prefix. This is why the FCC is changing to require 10-digit calling for all people with the 505 or 575 area codes.

The 988 number for the National Suicide Prevention Hotline goes into effect on July 16, 2022. Until then, people who are having suicidal thoughts should call the hotline at 1-800-273-8255. Even after the 988 number starts routing calls to the hotline, people will still be able to call 1-800-273-8255 to get help and support.

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More information can be found at nmprc.state.nm.us.

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