IRVING, Texas - Starting this weekend, Northeast Texas residents in the 903 area code can start getting in the habit of dialing 10 digits (the area code plus the seven-digit number) to make local phone calls. Come early next year, when a new area code is introduced in the area, the new dialing pattern will be required to complete local calls.
The new 430 area code will have the same geographic boundaries as the current 903 area code. This "overlay" area code eliminates the need to split the existing area code into a smaller area to create new phone, fax and Internet connection numbers, and allows residents and businesses to keep their current numbers. The new area code is needed to meet the growing need for phone numbers in the area.
Telephone numbers for current 903 area code customers will not change. The new 430 area code will be assigned, starting in April 2003, to customers who order a new phone service or an additional line for phone, fax or Internet connection purposes.
Starting Saturday and for the next seven months, customers can dial either seven or 10 digits to place a local call. This transition period was established to help callers become accustomed to 10-digit dialing.
Residents throughout Northeast Texas now in the 903 area code, including those in Athens, Bonham, Carthage, Greenville, Kilgore, Longview, Palestine, Paris, Sherman, Sulphur Springs, Texarkana and Tyler, are encouraged to begin dialing 10 digits starting this Saturday when they make local calls. As of next Feb. 15, if callers forget to dial 10 digits, their calls will not go through and they will hear a message advising them to redial.
Residents and businesses are urged to reprogram their telecommunications equipment and services as soon as possible to handle 10-digit dialing. Computer modems, private call-switching systems, autodialers, speed dialing, call forwarding and voice dialing features, as well as security and medical alarms may need to be reprogrammed. (See attached list for details).
Last year, the Texas Public Utility Commission decided to introduce a new area code in the geographic area now served by the 903 area code to add additional local numbers. The demand for new telephone numbers is growing rapidly as Northeast Texans and phone customers nationwide increasingly have a choice of which company provides their local phone service, and these competing companies require phone numbers for their customers. NeuStar Inc., which is the administrator for area codes, selected 430 as the new area code for Northeast Texas.
Many of the phone companies that serve Northeast Texas, including AT&T, CenturyTel, Eastex Telephone, Nextel, Peoples Telephone Co-op, SBC Southwestern Bell, Sprint, Tiagris Corp. and Verizon, recognize that there will be an adjustment period for residents and businesses. All expect that the next seven months will give callers the time they need to minimize the impact of the change.
Dialing of long-distance calls within the 903 area code region will not change. Callers will continue to dial "1" plus the area code, plus the seven-digit number.
Creation of the new area code will not affect rates or local calling areas. Calls that are local and long-distance today will continue to be local and long-distance after 10-digit dialing goes into effect Feb. 15, 2003. There will be no change in calls to 411 (directory assistance service) or 911 emergency services.
Each company is conducting a customer education program, including local advertisements, to inform area residents and businesses of the changes and to urge them to reprogram their telecommunications equipment and services to reflect the need to dial 10 digits for all local calls.
Customers can obtain more information about the new 430 area code by visiting the Texas Code Administration Customer Education Project Web site at http://www.texas-code.com or by contacting their telephone company.
AT&T: Kerry Hibbs, 972-778-2081
CenturyTel: Tracey Moses, 318-449-6420
Eastex Telephone: Stanley Bennett, 903-854-1104 or
Eastex Telephone: Rusty Dorman, 903-854-1108
Nextel: Michele Pinnau, 407-838-5239
Peoples Telephone Co-op: Sharon Hurley, 903-763-2214
SBC Southwestern Bell: Amanda Ray, 214-665-1359
Sprint: Don Houston, 888-320-3011
Tiagris Corp.: Chris Espinoza, 956-661-5900 x 4016
Verizon: Bill Kula, 972-718-6924
Customers with telephone numbers in the 903 area codes need to reprogram any telephone equipment, computer or service that currently dials seven-digit phone numbers. The change is necessary for the introduction of 10-digit dialing and the new 430 area code in Northeast Texas next year.
Customers should reprogram their telecommunications equipment and services as soon as possible to handle 10-digit dialing. This reprogramming should be completed by Feb. 15, 2003.
- Computers used for Internet access
- Speed dialing lists
- Automatic dialers
- Cellular and mobile phones
- Security systems (check with your security company)
- PBX business phone systems (check with your PBX supplier)
- Fax machines
- Home Voice Mail or Answer Call/Voice Mail features
- Call Forwarding
Examples of equipment or telecommunications services that may need to be reprogrammed include:
In addition, be sure to update phone lists, databases, Web pages, billing records and address books to include area codes. Also, include your area code when giving someone your telephone number.
For more information on the new 430 area code, customers may visit the Texas Code Administration Customer Education Project Web site at http://www.texas-code.com or contact their telephone company.