Move over, 845! Another area code proposed for Mid Hudson region; here's why

·3 min read

Less than two years from now, you may not be able to get a new phone line with an 845 area code.

There won’t be any left.

But, those living in “the 8-4-5” shouldn’t fear losing their existing phone number.

The New York State Public Service Commission is considering creating a new area code for phone lines added in the current 845 territory. It’s needed after an analysis from the North American Number Plan Administrator, or NANPA, showed the 845 area will soon exhaust the phone numbers available.

The NANPA filed a petition on Nov. 30 proposing relief for the phone territory. The Public Service Commission posted the complete petition and supporting materials on its site and is accepting public comment through March 27.

In its petition, 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.”

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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.

New York state area codes.
New York state area codes.

Under the proposed plan, a new area code — the number for which is to be determined — would be created and ready to be implemented at least six months in advance of the projected time of exhaustion. It was unclear if that timeline would apply to the accelerated exhaust date of 2023 as well as the original 2024 date; the Public Service Commission did not directly answer that question Wednesday, but said the new area code could be implemented as little as three months before an exhaustion date, "under extraordinary situations."

A new exhaustion date would be determined after the new area code option is implemented, the Public Service Commission said. When the last 845 number is given out, the next number would be the new area code, according to the petition filed. There is no change for existing 845 numbers.

The NANPA noted adding an area code normally requires an additional change to require residents to dial area codes even for local calls, but that change has already been implemented locally.

The new area code, which would be created as what is known as an overlay district, would take an estimated 28 years to run out of numbers.

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.

Specific dates for when the change would occur are not yet determined. The petition is asking for the plan to be approved by the Public Service Commission no later than June 1 of this year.

How to 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.

Virtual public hearings are being considered but are not yet scheduled.

This article originally appeared on Poughkeepsie Journal: New area code for the Hudson Valley proposed alongside 845

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