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10-digit dialing begins for Corpus Christi’s 361 area code

Callers in the 361 area code will soon have to dial all 10 digits to make a local call. The change begins April 24 and becomes permanent Oct. 24.

Area code 361 soon required for dialing Corpus Christi local calls

Ten-digit dialing training wheels go on for the 361 area code as of April 24. Callers in the Corpus Christi area code and five others will have until Oct. 24 to move from seven digits to including the area code for a total of 10 numbers to reach a caller. Other area codes affected are 254, 409, 806, 915, and 940. The rest of the state already has 10-digit dialing.

The change in the Coastal Bend comes because of a Federal Communications Commission order approving 988 as a three-digit dialing code for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. As of July 16, 2022, anyone calling 988 will be routed to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Until then, the number remains 800-273-8255 (TALK).

The area codes listed all have 988 prefixes in their exchanges, which is the reason for the need to dial an area code first before the 988 suicide hotline number goes into effect.

While it might seem like an easy change for most, those life safety systems or medical monitoring devices, PBXs, fax machines, internet dialup numbers, fire or burlap alarm and security systems or gates, speed dialers, mobile phone contact lists, call forward settings, and voicemail services all will have to switch over to 10-digit dialing.

What won’t change are the phone numbers. No phone numbers or area codes will be changed and no rates or services will be affected. Even though a caller is adding an area code, the call still will be considered local. If calling from a land line, a 1 will need to be added before the area code.

The 361 area code was created in February 1999 when it split from the 512 area code, now associated with Central Texas. The 512 area code, which was established in 1947, was one of the first in the nation and one of four for Texas at the time. In 1992, the San Antonio and Rio Grande Valley regions were given a 210 area code.

The Austin area kept 512 to avoid changing long-established numbers for state agencies in the capital city.

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