In a month, anyone making a local call in Hawai‘i must dial the area code (808) plus the telephone number to ensure the call will go through.
The change to 10-digit dialing for local calls is driven by the Federal Communications Commission’s adoption of Order (FCC 20-100) that approved “988” as the three-digit code to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline starting on July 16, 2022.
Hawai‘i is among 36 states that used the “988” prefix and had to transition to 10-digit dialing for local calls. The FCC Order required all telecommunications carriers including Hawaiian Telcom, interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) providers and one-way VoIP providers to make any network changes necessary to ensure that users can dial “988” to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by July 16, 2022.
April 24 through Oct. 23, 2021 is known as a permissive dialing period when 10-digit local calls were encouraged but seven-digit local calls would still go through. Beginning on Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021, callers in Hawai‘i must dial the area code + telephone number for local calls to go through. If you don’t dial 10 digits, you may hear a recording informing you that your call cannot be completed as dialed.
Safety and security equipment, such as medical alert and monitoring devices, and alarms, security systems and gates must be programmed to use 10-digit dialing by October 24, 2021 to avoid interruption. Please contact your medical alert or security provider if you are not sure whether your equipment needs to be reprogrammed to accommodate the upcoming change to 10-digit (or 1+10-digits) local dialing. Other devices and services that may need to be re-programmed include:
- Fax machines
- Internet dial-up numbers
- Speed dialers
- Wireless phone contact lists
- Call forwarding settings
- Voicemail services and other similar functions
Be sure to check your website, personal and business stationery, advertising materials, personal and business checks, contact information, your personal or pet ID tags, and other such items to ensure the area code is included.
What will remain the same?
- Your telephone number, including current area code, will not change.
- The price of a call, coverage area, or other rates and services will not change due to the dialing change.
- What is a local call now will remain a local call regardless of the number ofdigits dialed.
- You will continue to dial 1+ the area code + telephone number for all long-distance
- You will continue to dial a prefix (such as “9”) when dialing from a multi-line telephone system (e.g., in a hotel, office building, etc.) as required.
- You can still dial just three digits to reach 711 (relay services) and 911 (emergency services).
- If 211, 311, 411, 511, 611, 711 or 811 are currently available in your community, dial these codes with just three digits.
- The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can still be reached by dialing 1-800-273-TALK (8255) even after the 988 code is in effect.
Beginning July 16, 2022, dialing “988” will route calls to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Until that date, callers must continue to dial 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
For more information, please visit the North American Numbering Plan Administrator’s (NANPA) website at nationalnanpa.com/transition_to_10_digit_dialing_for_988. You can email questions about the dialing procedure change to NANPA at email@example.com, or visit the FCC’s website at fcc.gov/suicide-prevention-hotline. Hawaiian Telcom customers may also visit hawaiiantel.com/dial808 for more information.