Starting Sunday, residents across northern Indiana must use all 10 digits to make a phone call, even if it is local. The switch affects phones in the 219 and 574 area codes. The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission notified users in April about the switch, giving them six months to adjust to the new dialing pattern.
The IURC says calls that are local now will remain local, even though the area code is added. You can still dial three digits for 911 (emergency services), 211 (social services), 411 (directory assistance), 711 (telecommunications relay service), and 811 (utility call before digging into the ground).
The agency says the change is necessary to accommodate the “988” National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, as designated by the Federal Communications Commission. All telecommunications providers in the U.S. are required to implement the three-digit 9-8-8 dialing code for the national hotline by July 16.
The IURC reminds phone users to make sure their preprogrammed numbers for local calls are set to include the area code. It says this is especially important for life safety systems, medical monitoring services and security alarms.
Mandatory 10-digit dialing has been in place for several years in Indiana’s 317 and 812 area codes. The 260 and 765 area codes are not affected, according to the IURC.