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Delaware Implements 10-Digit Dialing – Effective October 24, 2021


Delaware Implements 10-Digit Dialing – Effective October 24, 2021

Calendar Year 2021 continues to bring about many changes, but one of the changes will affect all of us in our daily lives has barely begun to be made public.

Beginning October 24, 2021, telephone users in Delaware with Delaware phone numbers (area code 302) will need to dial local numbers using the full 10-digit phone numbers. 

Why the change?

On July 16, 2020, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted an order approving 988 as the 3-digit abbreviated dialing code to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, starting July 16, 2022. Customers must continue to dial 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to reach the Lifeline until that date.

The Order requires all telephone carriers to make any changes necessary to ensure that users can dial 988 to reach the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by July 16, 2022. For 988 to work in the (302) area code, 10-digit local dialing must first be implemented.

Why is 10-digit dialing going to be required in Delaware?

The FCC ordered that any area code that has the 988 prefix and has 7-digit local dialing be transitioned to 10-digit local dialing to ensure everyone is able to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline using the 3-digit 988 code. Delaware currently has a (302) 988 exchange, based out of Selbyville, which is used by AT&T landline and mobile customers.

What other areas are going to be affected by this?

This change is having ramifications nationwide. Sixteen states and territories under the FCC’s jurisdiction will have to transition to 10-digit dialing in 2021.

What do I need to do?

If you have numbers stored in your home, mobile, or company phones, you need to ensure that they are programmed to use the full 10-digit phone number during the “permissive dialing” period beginning April 24, 2021. Businesses that have on-site phone systems may have to change dialing rules in those systems. These changes must be completed prior to the mandatory 10-digit dialing implementation date of October 24, 2021.

Additional information may be obtained by viewing the following pages: 

(1)  Cape Gazette:

(2)  Federal Communication Commission:


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