10 Digit Dialing Means Update Deadline

Dallas and Houston both have three. Ft. Worth has two. And now East Texas is getting a second one of it's own.

Starting this weekend, ten digit dialing is coming to a phone near you as the FCC adds the area code 4-3-0 to the existing 9-0-3 region. That means your fingers are going to get a work out. From now on, they will have to punch 42 percent more buttons just to make a local call.

But pushing three more numbers every time you pick up the phone may not be the biggest headache from 10 digit dialing. Between now and Saturday, everything you use for automated calls has to be updated with the 903 prefix.

Chris Tannery's company, goQuest has been helping their clients update dial up information for months. "This is a very simple process. They're not going to have to surgically remove something out of the operating system or computer. It's a real simple two step process for each operating system."

Craig Wood's job has been a little bit tougher. He spent most of the last year getting home and business alarm systems ready for the 903 prefix. He says now is the time to make certain your home remains protected in the 10 digit dialing era. "They could call their alarm company and ask them. Or they could call their alarm company, place their system in a text mode and actually send in a signal, call back and verify that signal went through."

If you're not ready for Saturday's switchover, head to www.kltv.com. On the home page, click on the "Know More on 7" icon and you'll find a link called "East Texas Ten Digit Dialing." There, you'll find a checklist you can print out so you can be 10 digit dialing savvy.

Stephen Parr, reporting.