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Area code needed for local Montana calls starting Oct. 24

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Starting Oct. 24, you must dial with the 406 area code to connect local calls. This comes as a result of a Federal Communications Commission order which designates 988 as the new National Suicide Prevention Lifeline nationwide number.

This update in Montana is meant to prevent misdialing the 988 Lifeline since some seven-digit phone numbers in Montana’s 406 area code start with 988. Three-digit dialing services such as 911 will continue to work without having to dial an area code. All local 406 calls must have the area code to connect, despite existing seven-digital phone numbers not changing.

The 988 number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline will start on July 16, 2022, according to a Billings Gazette news brief.

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