315 area code digits scarce

The state Public Service Commission is considering ways to split the 315 area code — which includes

The state Public Service Commission is considering ways to split the 315 area code — which includes a small part of Fulton County — because available numbers are becoming scarce.

In fact, the supply of central office codes, the first three numbers of a seven-digit telephone number, is expected to be depleted by 2010, James Denn, a spokesman for the PSC, said Friday.

The 315 area code has served central New York since the early 1950s. The Fulton County town of Stratford is in the 315 area code.

Denn said the 518 area code is OK for the foreseeable future.

“We know when a code is within three years of being exhausted. Five-one-eight is not expected to be exhausted within that time period,” Denn said.

The PSC is considering four proposals to ease the strain on the 315 area code.

Three would involve splitting the current 315 area code along geographic lines, two east to west and one north to south.

The fourth option is to create a new area code for the current 315 area code. This “overlay” option would require people to always dial the correct area code, even when calling other telephone lines in the area.

The PSC lists other advantages and disadvantages to the various options.

Disadvantages of the geographic split plan include businesses having to change their numbers and to make changes in their advertising media.

The commission has posted detailed information on its Web site, www.dps.state.ny.us, and is seeking public input from telephone customers on the issue.

Comments may be mailed, e-mailed or called in to the agency.

Anyone going online to learn more or comment should refer to case 07-C-1486, 315 Area Code.

Denn said the PSC has not set a deadline for deciding which option to pursue.

Categories: Schenectady County

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