El Paso phone calls soon to require 10 digits when dialing


FILE – In this Sept. 16, 2017, file photo, a person uses a smart phone in Chicago. Nearly all Americans agree that the rampant spread of misinformation is a problem. Most also think individual users, along with social media companies, bear a good deal of blame for the situation. That’s according to a new poll from The Pearson Institute and the Associated Press—NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. (AP Photo/File)

EL PASO, Texas – (KTSM) Starting on Monday, October 25, 2021, Texans with phone numbers in the 254, 361, 409, 806, 830, 915 and 940 area codes must dial 10-digits (area code + telephone number) for all local calls. 

Beginning October 25, local calls dialed with only seven digits will reach a recording prompting them to hang up and dial again using both the area code with the seven-digit telephone number.

This change comes as the Federal Communications Commission issued an order approving 988 as the three-digit abbreviated dialing code for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

The Order requires all telecommunications providers to make any network changes necessary to ensure 988 access by July 16, 2022.

Several numbers in El Paso area codes use the 988 prefixes, therefore, those areas must transition from seven-digit to 10-digit local dialing.

April 24, 2021 marked the beginning of a “permissive dialing period” in which callers in those area codes were encouraged to adopt the ten-digit dialing practice. That period expires on October 24, 2021, meaning only calls dialed with ten digits will be connected thereafter.

 Examples of services that may need to be re-programmed are:

  • life safety systems or medical monitoring devices
  • PBXs
  • fax machines
  • Internet dial-up numbers
  • fire or burglar alarm and security systems or gates
  • speed dialers
  • mobile or other wireless phone contact lists
  • call forwarding settings
  • voicemail services and other similar functions

Customers should also ensure the area code is included in all other places where a telephone number is displayed like their websites, personal and business stationery, advertising materials, personal and business checks, and even personal or pet ID tags.

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