January 21, 2022

Start dialing with ‘607’

10-digit dialing required next month in 607 area code

Colin Spencer/staff reporter

Jennifer Christie uses her phone Friday at Suggett Park in Cortland. Beginning Oct. 24, Cortland and other phone users in the 607 area code will need to dial all 10 digits of the phone number, to allow the number “988” to access a suicide prevention hotline.

Jennifer Christie went through her phone Friday while sitting on a bench at Suggett Park in Cortland.

When she wants to make a call, she doesn’t have to worry about dialing in the 607 area code that covers Cortland Countyand much of the Southern Tier.

“All my numbers are programmed with 607 so I don’t have to manually dial it,” she said.

However beginning Oct. 24, residents with 607 area code phone numbers and four other area codes in the state will have to dial the three-digit area code when making a call. Calls made with just seven digits will not be completed.

According to the Federal Communications Commission, these area codes in New York will need to be added when being dialed by residents:
• 607.
• 516.
• 716.
• 845.
• 914.

That’s because a new national suicide and mental health crisis number will be enacted next year, according to the telecommunications company Empire Access.

In the meantime

• While the move to 10-digit dialing is still happening, people who need help should continue to contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by calling 1-800-273-8255, the FCC suggests.
• Veterans and military personnel may reach the Veterans Crisis Line by pressing 1 after dialing or can chat online at www.veteranscrisisline.net or can text 838255.

That number will be 988 and will connect to the National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline, the FCC announced.

However, 35 states and one U.S. territory use 988 as the first three digits of seven-digit phone numbers. So, to avoid accidentally calling the hotline, people in area codes with a 988 as the next three digits will need to dial all 10 digits.

The hotline number will be effective beginning July 16, 2022.

Paul Downing said dialing an extra three digits is not an issue for him, as he moved to Cortland from Virginia Beach a few years ago.

“I just dial 607, anyway,” he said. Moreso, he said the change will be for a good reason.

“If it’s for suicide prevention, that makes it more worth it,” he said.