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10-digit dialing coming soon to 361 area code. This change will make room for new 3-digit abbreviated dialing code to access suicide hotline.

Several Texas area codes (361, 254, 409, 806, 830, 915 and 940) have numbers with a 988 prefix. Those areas must transition from seven-digit to 10-digit dialing
Credit: PUC of Texas

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Corpus Christi's area code, 361, is one a seven Texas area codes that will soon have to move to 10-digit local dialing instead of the normal seven-digit dialing.

Starting on April 24, the 10-digit dialing will go into effect in our area, the Public Utility Commission of Texas said. This comes after the FCC designated 988 as an abbreviated dialing code for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

Because several Texas area codes (361, 254, 409, 806, 830, 915 and 940) have numbers with a 988 prefix, those areas must transition from seven-digit to 10-digit local dialing. 

April 24 marks the beginning of a “permissive dialing period” where callers in those area codes can still complete a call with seven-digit dialing. When that period expires on October 24, only calls dialed with ten digits will be connected. 

After the permissive dialing period, 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. 

What will change?

Anyone needing reprogramming of alarm and home security equipment must act during the permissive dialing period from April 24 to October 24 to avoid interruption of those services. 

Some 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. 

What will remain the same?

• Telephone numbers, 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 of digits dialed 

• Customers will continue to dial 1+ the area code + telephone number for all long-distance calls 

• Customers 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 

• Customers can still dial just three digits to reach 711 (relay services) and 911 (emergency services) • If 211, 311, 411, 511, 611, or 811 are currently available in one’s community, they can still be dialed 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. Customers must continue to dial 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) to reach the Lifeline until July 16, 2022. 

To learn more, visit the North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA) website or visit the FCC website at https://www.fcc.gov/suicide-prevention-hotline.