New York is running out of 845 area code phone numbers.
The state Public Service Commission is considering creating a new area code to solve that problem, and area residents will have three chances to learn more about the plan and weigh-in at virtual hearings in the coming weeks.
An analysis from the North American Number Plan Administrator, or NANPA, showed the 845 area will soon exhaust the phone numbers available.
Under the NANPA’s proposed plan, anyone with an 845 area code would keep their existing number. A new area code — the number for which is to be determined — would be created and ready to be implemented as an overlay district at least six months in advance of the projected time of exhaustion. After the last 845 number is given out, the new area code would begin to be distributed.
How the hearings work
All hearings are available at www.webex.com, with different event numbers and passwords for each; or by phone at 1-518-549-0500 using the event number:
March 16 1 pm.: Event number 2331 905 0887, password “Mar16-1pm”
March 16 6 p.m.: Event number 2330 366 0677, password “Mar16-6pm”
March 23 6 p.m.: Event number 2343 447 2315, password “Mar23-6pm”
Anyone who would like to comment must register in advance electronically at www.webex.com, or by phone at 1-800-342-3330, by 3 p.m. the day before the hearing.
Residents do not need to attend a hearing to provide comment.
Residents can see the proposal at the Public Service Commission’s website at www.dps.ny.gov; it can be found using case number 21-C-0600.
Comment can be sent by email at Secretary@dps.ny.gov, called in to 1-800-335-2120, or mailed to Hon. Michelle L. Phillips, Secretary, New York State Public Service Commission, 3 Empire State Plaza, Albany, New York 12223-1350. Use the case number in any comment submitted. All must be submitted by March 27.
Why it’s happening
The NANPA’s petition is asking for the plan to be approved by the Public Service Commission no later than June 1 of this year.
NANPA projected the 845 numbers would be exhausted by the third quarter of 2024; an updated analysis by the organization showed it may happen as soon as the third quarter of 2023, the Public Service Commission said, “due to an increase in the demand for numbers.”
The 845 area code was officially created in June 2000 after the number of phone lines utilizing the 914 area code likewise approached exhaustion. Dutchess, Ulster, Orange, Rockland and Sullivan counties; most of Putnam; and parts of Columbia, Delaware and Greene counties; are in the 845 region.
The new area code would take an estimated 28 years to run out of numbers, the NANPA said.
An alternate plan was also proposed in which the 914 geographic area, Westchester, would be included. Residents in the 845 and 914 areas would continue to receive numbers with one of those two area codes until both were exhausted, and then an overlay district would be created to cover both those regions. However, that plan had a projected life of just 19 years.
Both plans were presented at a meeting of the New York telecommunications industry, and the plan involving just 845 was preferred “because it has a longer life, is easier and takes less time to implement, and will cause less customer confusion,” according to the petition.
The 914 area code by itself is not projected to exhaust until the first quarter of 2031.
This article originally appeared on Poughkeepsie Journal: New area code in 845 region: Hearings this month