A change that the FCC approved last year will bring a change to dialing in several Texas area codes starting in October, and although it won't interrupt most of our dialing routines, you might want to let your Grandma in Waco know what's up.  

If you grew up surrounded by corn fields and cows in rural Nebraska you might remember being able to call your Grandma by dialing five digits.  Those were the days!  Her number was 5-2224 and that's all it took to reach her, and she would pick up on the second ring, and then I could if the cinnamon rolls were ready.  She only lived a half mile down the road and if the wind was right I could get a whiff of fresh-baked cakes, pies, bread, and cinnamon rolls right as they came out of the oven.  As more people moved to town and the population spiked above 700 people, we had to start using seven digits and that was a huge adjustment for people in the sticks.

Starting next month, thousands of dialers in Texas will have to add ten-digit dialing if they're not already including the area code.  Texans with phone numbers in the 254, 361, 409, 806, 830, 915 and 940 area codes will be required to dial 10-digits (area code + telephone number) for all local calls beginning October 24th.

The FCC issued an Order last year approving 988 as the three-digit abbreviated dialing code for the National Suicide Prevention line, and phone providers will have to require area codes on all phone numbers to account for that, since the 988 prefix can't go first any longer.

903 won't be forced to make the change, but I'm 99 percent sure you're already using the area code because that's just how we live.

Where are the impacted area codes?

254 - Waco

361 - Laredo to Victoria

409 - Galveston to Beaumont

806 - Lubbock and Amarillo

830 - Boerne and Fredericksburg

915 - El Paso

940 - Dallas-Fort Worth to Wichita Falls

It looks like five-digit dialing for Grandma's cinnamon rolls are gone for good.  Oh, and if you have no idea what area code you're in because everything is on that speedy contact list of yours, this will be a good chance to brush up.

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