By Associated Press - Friday, April 23, 2021

PHOENIX (AP) - The Arizona Corporation Commission has announced residents in three large area codes in Arizona will have to transition to 10-digit dialing for all local calls later this year.

The commission said residents with area codes 480, 520 and 928 should begin dialing area codes with phone numbers beginning this weekend before the transition is permanent starting Oct. 24. Calls made after that date that do not include area codes may not go through, officials said.

The announcement was made after the Federal Communications Commission last year approved 988 as the three-digit abbreviated dialing code to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline starting July 16, 2022.

The order requires all telecommunications carriers, interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol providers and one-way VoIP providers to make necessary network changes to ensure anyone who dials 988 in the U.S. reaches the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

The statement said safety and security equipment, such as medical devices and security systems, must also be re-programmed to use 10-digit dialing. Many systems use 10-digit dialing by default.

The 520 area code covers southern Arizona, including Tucson, Nogales and other cities. The 928 area code covers northern and western Arizona, including Yuma, Flagstaff, Lake Havasu City and other cities. And the 480 area code covers the East Valley and parts of Pinal County, including Mesa, Tempe, Apache Junction and other cities.

Arizona also has two other area codes - 602 and 623 - that are not listed as part of the change. Those area codes include Phoenix and some parts of the West Valley, including Glendale, Goodyear, Surprise and other cities.

The change does not affect the price of a call, coverage areas or other rates and services. Long-distance calls will still need a 1 before the area code followed by the number. Residents will still be able to dial 711 for relay services and 911 for emergency services.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can still be reached by dialing 1-800-273-TALK (8255) even after the three-digit code is in effect, the commission said.

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