The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has adopted 988 as a new three-digit number to be used nationwide to reach the National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline starting July 16, 2022. All telecommunications carriers and VoIP service providers are required to take part in the initiative.

In order for 988 to work, all service providers must implement mandatory 10-digit local dialing. Therefore, starting October 24, 2021 local calls, including those on the same island, will require that you dial area code 808 + telephone number.

What will be the new dialing procedure?
To complete a local call, starting October 24, 2021 you will need to dial area code 808 + telephone number. This applies to all local calls within your area code that are currently dialed with seven digits.

Who will be affected?
Anyone with an area code 808 telephone number will need to make a change from 7-digit local dialing to 10-digit local dialing.

When will the change begin?
Beginning October 24, 2021, you must dial 808 + telephone number for all local calls. On and after that date, local calls dialed with only 7 digits may not be completed, and a recording will inform you that your call cannot be completed as dialed. You must hang up and dial 808 + telephone number. Until July 16, 2022 customers must continue to dial 1-800-273-TALK to reach the National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline. Beginning July 16, 2022 dialing “988” will automatically route your call to the Lifeline.

What will you need to do?
In addition to changing the way you dial local calls, all services, automatic dialing equipment and other types of equipment that are programmed to complete calls to 7-digit local numbers will need to be reprogrammed to complete calls to 808 + telephone number. Some examples 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. Be sure to check your website, personal and business stationery, advertising materials, personal and business checks, contact information, your personal or pet ID tags and other such items to ensure the area code is included.

Here are some links to on information to reprogram your speed calling/dial and call forwarding functions on your Hawaiian Telcom Business phone services: 

How will this affect my Hawaiian Telcom Single Number Service (SNS)? 
SNS service will continue to operate.  However, end-users must dial 808 before the seven-digit telephone number for the call to complete.  

What will remain the same?

  • Your telephone number, including current area code, will remain the same.
  • The price of a call, coverage area, and other rates and services will remain the same.
  • What is a local call now will remain a local call regardless of the number of digits dialed.
  • You will continue to dial 1 + area code + telephone number for all inter-island and long-distance calls.  Hawaiian Telcom Business customers with SNS will not need to dial 1.
  • You can continue to dial just three digits to reach 711 (relay services) and 911 (emergency services).
  • Any 211, 311, 411, 511, 611 or 811 services available in your community can still be reached by dialing its three-digit code.
  • The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can still be reached by dialing 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Who can you contact with questions?
You can visit the FCC website at fcc.gov/suicide-prevention-hotline.