Hawaii residents must press extra native name buttons

HONOLULU (KHON2) – Hawaiian residents will soon have to press more keys to make calls.

Callers must dial an area code even when calling someone on the island.

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Hawaiian Telcom said the change came as a result of an order from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). It affects and includes more than 30 states all Hawaii phone providers.

The FCC approved 9-8-8 as the new three-digit number for the National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline. The number can be used from July 16, 2022. All telecommunications providers and VoIP service providers are encouraged to participate in the initiative by obliging callers to use the 10-digit dialing system.

Hawaiian Residents Soon To Dial 808: You Must Know That

“States that used 9-8-8 as a prefix must make this transition to add the area code first, even for local calls. That’s what’s required here in Hawaii, dialing 8-0-8 before any number, any local number. “

Ann Nishida Fry, Hawaiian Telcom Senior Manager, Corporate Communications

Many are used to dialing seven digits to make local calls, but they must include the 8-0-8 area code in front of those seven digits when calling local numbers starting Sunday, October 24th. The call will not go through if the area code is not included.

“If you have your contacts saved on your phones without 8-0-8, you will need to add that before October 24th,” said Nishida Fry.

“So it’s important to do it early, isn’t it? You don’t want to wait up to two weeks. “

Ann Nishida Fry, Hawaiian Telcom Senior Manager, Corporate Communications

The transition will affect cell phones and landlines alike, but there are other devices that may also need to be updated.

“So maybe your security alert, maybe if you have a direct dial machine, fax machine, or medical equipment,” said Nishida Fry. “Those are devices that I think you tend to set and somehow forget, did it add the area code? ‘”

The Suicide Prevention Lifeline won’t use 9-8-8 until 2022, but the move to 10-digit dialing will begin October 24th. Through July 16, 2022, customers must continue to dial 1-800-273-TALK to be the National Lifeline for Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis.

Check out what’s going on in Hawaii on our Local News page

Visit the North American Numbering Plan Administrator website for more informations.
Questions about changing the dialing method can also be sent by email to [email protected] The FCC also has information on the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on its website.

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