Alaskans will soon need to dial 10 digits to make in-state calls

Later this year, Alaskans will need to dial the area code when making phone calls within the state.

Recently, some telecommunication companies — including Matanuska Telephone Association — notified users that seven-digit dialing will soon be a thing of the past.

According to the Regulatory Commission of Alaska, the reason for this change is a new federal act that will designate 988 as an abbreviated number to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

To avoid potentially having to change any phone numbers, regions that have 988 as an active prefix will have to dial the area code to make phone calls.  That includes Alaska’s 907 area code.

The changes begin to take effect on April 24 but seven-digit dialing will still work until October.

In addition to phone calls, RCA said other devices may need to be updated, including medical monitors, fire or burglar alarms, voicemail and call forwarding services, and speed dialers.

The abbreviated number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline takes effect next summer.  Until then, the line can be reached at 1-800-273-8255.

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