New Dialing Procedure For Customers In 276 and 540 Area Codes

On July 16, 2020, the FCC adopted an Order (FCC 20-100) approving  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 (VoIP) providers, and one-way VoIP providers (covered providers) to make any network changes necessary to ensure that users can dial 988 to reach the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by July 16, 2022.

In order for 988 to work in the 82 area codes in 36 states shown below, every customer with a number in those area codes with seven-digit local dialing must be transitioned to 10-digit (or 1+10-digit in CA and parts of IL).  The FCC ordered that any area code that has the 988 prefix assigned as telephone number and has seven-digit local dialing be transitioned to 10-digit (area code + telephone number) or 1+10-digits (1+area code + telephone number in CAC and part of IL) local dialing to ensure everyone is able to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline using the three-digit  988 code.

If your area code is 276 and 540, you will need to change the way you dial local calls in 2021. In order for 988 to work in the 276 area code, 10-digit local dialing must first be implemented.

In addition to the adoption for 988 calls, the Virginia State Corporation Commission has determined that telephone numbers in the 540 area code (NPA) will reach exhaustion during the 2nd quarter of 2022. In order to have sufficient numbers for this geographical area a new area code (826) will be created. Any area served by area code 540 will also be served by area code 826. This means that we will have to transition to ten-digit dialing for local numbers or any 540 numbers that are currently dialed seven-digit.




218, 952








314, 417, 660, 816


480, 520, 928




209, 530, 562, 626, 650, 707, 925, 949, 951




719, 970

New Hampshire




New Jersy

856, 908


321 (Brevard County Only), 352, 561, 941

New Mexico

505, 575


478, 912

New York

516, 607, 716, 845, 914



North Carolina





440, 513


309, 618, 708

South Dakota



219, 574


731, 865


319, 515


254, 361, 409, 806, 830, 915, 940


620, 785






276, 804


337, 504




616, 810, 906, 989


262, 414, 608, 920

What will be the new dialing procedure?

To complete all local calls, you will now need to dial area code + telephone number. This applies to all calls within your area code that are currently dialed with seven digits.

Who will be affected?

Anyone with a telephone number in the 276 and 540 area codes will need to make this change from 7-digit local dialing to 10-digit local dialing.

When will the change begin?

Beginning April 24, 2021, 276 area code should begin dialing 10 digits (area code + telephone number) for all local calls. If you forget and dial just 7 digits, your call will still be completed.

Beginning October 24, 2021, 276 area code must dial 10-digits (area code + telephone number) for all local calls. On and after this 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 again using the area code and the 7-digit number.

Beginning July 16, 2022, dialing “988” will route your call to National Suicide Prevention and mental Health Crisis Lifeline.

Beginning on November 13, 2021, 540 area code should start dialing 10 digits to 540 numbers that do not currently require dialing 1+. Mandatory 10 digit dialing will begin on May 14, 2022. Citizens will provide more information as these timelines draw closer.

What other changes need to be made?

Important safety and security equipment, such as medical alert devices, and alarm and security systems must be programmed to use 10-digit (1+10-digit) dialing. Many systems operate on 10-digit (or 1+10-digit) dialing by default but some older equipment may still use seven-digits.  Please contact your medical alert or security provider if you are not sure whether your equipment needs to be reprogrammed to accommodate the upcoming change to  10-digit (or 1+10-digits) local dialing. Any needed reprogramming of alarm and home security equipment should be done during the permissive dialing period of April 24, 2021 and October 24, 2021 to avoid interruption of services.  Some other examples of service that may need to be reprogrammed 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 business checks, contact information, your personal or pet ID tags, and other such items to ensure the area code is included.

What will remain the same?

  • Your telephone number, including current area code, will not change
  • The price of a call, coverage area, or other rates and services will not change due to the dialing change
  • 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 of all long distance calls.
  • You will continue to dial a prefix (such as “9”) when dialing from a multi-line telephone system (e.g., in a hotel, office building, etc.) as required
  • You can still dial just three digits to reach 711 (relay services) and  911 (emergency services)
  • If 211, 311, 411, 511, 611, or 811 are currently available in your community, dial these codes with just three  digits.
  • The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can still be reached by dialing 1-800-273-TALK (8255) even after the 988 code is in effect.

Beginning July 16, 2022, dialing “988” will route your call to National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Customers must continue to dial 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) to reach the Lifeline until July 16, 2022.

You may visit the North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA) website at or email NANPA at with questions about the dialing procedure change, or you may visit the FCC website at

For more information 276 or call 540.745.2111 or 276.637.6485 during business hours Monday thru Friday 8 am - 6 pm, and Saturday 9 am - 1 pm . Citizens is a member-owned Cooperative providing telephone, Internet, and TV to Floyd County, portions of Ft. Chiswell, New Castle, and surrounding communities for over 100 years. Citizens offers symmetrical business Ethernet and Hosted Phone Solutions, Security, Automation, and Access Control Systems as well as Medical Alert. Citizens is located at 220 Webbs Mill Road in Floyd currently assisting customers via Drive-thru only due to Covid restrictions. DCJS #11-9804