Maui News

Starting Sunday, You Must Dial Area Code 808 for All Hawai’i Calls

October 20, 2021, 12:09 PM HST
* Updated October 20, 12:13 PM
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All Hawaiʻi calls must use the 808 area code beginning Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021. Map Courtesy: Hawaiian Telecom

Starting Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021, the Hawaiʻi area code 808 must be used for all Hawaiʻi phone numbers.

The change to 10-digit dialing for local calls is driven by the Federal Communications Commission order to use “988” as the three-digit code to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, beginning on July 16, 2022.

Hawai‘i is among 36 states that used the “988” prefix for phone numbers and had to transition to 10-digit dialing for local calls. The FCC Order required all telecommunications carriers including Hawaiian Telcom, interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) providers and one-way VoIP providers to make any network changes necessary to ensure that users can dial “988” to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by July 16, 2022.

Beginning on Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021, if you don’t dial 10 digits for Hawai’i local calls, you may hear a recording informing you that your call cannot be completed as dialed.

Safety and security equipment, such as medical alert and monitoring devices, and alarms, security systems and gates must be programmed to use 10-digit dialing by Oct. 24, 2021 to avoid interruption. 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. Other devices and services that may need to be re-programmed include:

  • PBXs
  • Fax machines
  • Internet dial-up numbers
  • Speed dialers
  • 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.

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+ the area code + telephone number for all long-distance.
  • 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, 711 or 811 are currently available in your community, dial these codes with just three digits.

Beginning July 16, 2022, dialing “988” will route calls to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Until that date, callers must continue to dial 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) number also will continue to work when the “988” number is implemented.

For more information, please visit the North American Numbering Plan Administrator’s (NANPA) website. You can email questions about the dialing procedure change to NANPA at [email protected], or visit the FCC’s website at fcc.gov/suicide-prevention-hotlineHawaiian Telcom customers may also visit hawaiiantel.com/dial808 for more information.

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