Adding 509 area code to calls starts Sunday

SPOKANE, Wash. — If you live in eastern Washington, you won’t be able to do seven-digit dialing starting today.

Beginning Sunday, Oct. 24, you have to add the 509 area code to all calls. The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission said calls made without adding the area code may not go through.

TDS Telecom said the change is to help keep people from accidentally calling a new emergency phone line coming next summer. Dialing 9-8-8 will connect people to the National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline starting July 16, 2022.

Here are a few other things to know about the change:

  • Your phone number and area code will stay the same.
  • The price for both local and long-distance calling will not change for TDS customers.
  • Long-distance calls will still be made by dialing 1 + area code + phone number.
  • Make sure anything that uses or displays your phone number, or the phone numbers of others is updated to include the area code. This could include any of the following: business stationery and marketing materials, home security systems, contact lists, voicemail services, fax machines, and life safety systems.

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