The New York State Public Service Commission today announced that they have approved the establishment of a second area code for Suffolk County, as 631 telephone numbers are being used up at a record pace. This decision comes after much public debate, including numerous public hearings in Smithtown, Holbrook, Huntington Station, and Riverhead over the Summer.
"The growing proliferation of new telecommunication technologies, multiple household cellphones, and greater use of portable computers, continues to drive demand for new telephonenumbers,” said Audrey Zibelman, Commission Chair.
“Years ago, most families would have a single telephone number. Today, each household and place of business may use several phone numbers, in addition to the numbers assigned to their landlines and cell service. Given the reality of the way we communicate today, a new area code is needed to expand the numbers that are available.”
Starting in the third quarter of 2016, telephone companies will be directed to active the new area code, which has not yet been decided. Residents who currently have a 631 area code needn't worry - although it was proposed to potentially assign the new area code based on ZIP Code, it was decided that newly established numbers would receive the new area code, and established numbers would not have to change. Changing area codes yet again has been a major concern to Suffolk's residents - the 631 area code was only established in 1999, when Suffolk County transitioned all phone numbers from 516 area codes to 631.
Currently, New York State has fifteen area codes - triple the original five assigned to NYS when the North American Numbering Plan (NANP) was established decades ago. As for the new area code, it has not been determined yet - it will be assigned by the North American Numbering Plan Administration (NANPA) at a later date.
[Source: NYS PSC.]
Photo by Melanie Kuipers, via Free Images.