Companies preparing for 10 digit dialing mandate
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Mandatory 10 digit dialing begins in South Dakota on October 24th. Before the deadline, telecommunication companies are busy getting their customers back up to speed.
The new 988 hotline will take effect next July, offering a new three-digit hotline for the National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline. To accomplish this, 36 states including South Dakota must start using all 10 digits when calling a number.
“Any states where that 988 was being used as an existing prefix, need to go to 10 digit dialing. There are about 35 states that are in that category, including South Dakota,” said South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Chairman Chris Nelson.
For individuals, that change comes down to just remembering to use all 10 digits. But for businesses, that could mean reprogramming their systems to continue to operate smoothly.
“Most of the carriers sent a letter to the customers at least a few months ago, saying that this 10 digit dialing was coming,” said Telephone System & Services General Manager Brett Buchheim. “And then some called us. But we were also proactive and started calling them, and started to reprogram their systems to handle the 10 digit dialing.”
Buchheim said the change won’t be too big of a hurdle for smaller businesses. But without those changes, it will be an issue for bigger ones.
“Small business systems, it doesn’t affect them very much. But the larger PBX’s, like our hospitals and some of those larger ones, you have to put the 605 in there. Otherwise, the system will block their call,” said Buchheim.
Buchheim said there will be some businesses that still have issues come next week. But hopefully, the adjustment period will be short.
“There’s going to be probably a few come Monday that is going to wonder why their calls won’t go through, and maybe some 605′s that we missed.”
Copyright 2021 Dakota News Now. All rights reserved.