Starting this October, you’ll have to dial “808” with all phone numbers you call in Hawai‘i. It seems easy, right? But the change could lead to complications.
Starting Oct. 24, 2021, all calls — including those on the same island — must be dialed using 10 digits or the call will not go through.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is making the change so that emergency calls made to the National Suicide Prevention Center and the Mental Health Crisis Lifeline can be made by simply calling “988.” That particular prefix is common in Hawai‘i, therefore, if local calls do not start with “808,” the caller could get one of those crisis lines by mistake. (Any 211, 311, 411, 511, 611 or 811 services available in your community can still be reached by dialing its three-digit code.)
Complications may arise because many automated dialing systems, burglar alarm monitors, speed dialers, mobile phone contacts, fax machines, security gates and other equipment may not currently be set up for 10-digit dialing.
Phone numbers listed on printed materials, websites, business cards and stationery should also include “808.”
Hawaiian Telcom urges business and residential customers to check their equipment and make changes as necessary. Visit http://bit.ly/Dial808 to get complete details and information.