By Alyssa Schnugg
Beginning on April 24, everyone in north Mississippi should begin using the 662 area code when making local calls, a step that will become mandatory in October.
On July 16, 2020, the FCC adopted an order approving 988 as the three-digit abbreviated dialing code to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline starting July 16, 2022.
In order for 988 to work in the 82 area codes in 36 states, every customer with a number in those area codes with seven-digit local dialing must be transitioned to 10-digit to ensure everyone is able to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline using the three-digit 988 code.
Somos Inc, the company that administers the North American area code plan, announced recently that north Mississippi customers should start using the 10-digit phone numbers as of April 24 to get used to dialing it before it becomes mandatory on Oct. 24.
Somos said in a statement that the six-month “permissive dialing” period will allow callers to use the 10-digit code but calls will continue to go through if the area code isn’t used until Oct. 24. After that, phone calls made without the 662 code first, will not go through.
“On and after this date, local calls dialed with only seven digits may not be completed, and a recording may inform you that your call cannot be completed as dialed. If you get this recording, you must hang up and dial again using the area code with the seven-digit telephone number,” the announcement from Somos stated.
Areas under the 662 area code, along with Lafayette County, include Southaven, Tupelo, Columbus, Starkville, Greenwood and Greenville.
Somos recommends that people with medical alert devices and alarm and security systems should begin programming devices to use the 10-digit code during the six-month permissive dialing period through Oct. 24.