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718 Area Code
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Today, the State Public Service Commission votes to divide New York City into two area codes to “prevent a significant exhaustion of telephone numbers.”
The 212 area code will reach only telephones in Manhattan and the Bronx at the beginning of New Year’s Day. New area code, 718, will require calling Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island.
The decision is set off a shout from public officials are the challenge of suits and calls for legislation.
The officials argue the change will divide the city, hurt business development, cause confusion and describe Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island.
“Our one city should not have two area codes.” Borough President Donald R. Manes of Queens says.
“The privation and inconvenience for Brooklyn business people and residents will and should avoid.” Borough President Howard Golden of Brooklyn says.
Brooklyn area code
Under the plans, all city calls will still make local calls and will not change rates. The new area code will begin operation on Sept. 1, but its use will be optional, not mandatory, until Jan. 1.
“There will be no change in charges,” a spokesman for the P.S.C., Francis R. Rivett, said. “Local calls will still be local calls.”
Calls from pay telephones cost 10 cents now will still cost 10 cents.
So a caller in lower Manhattan will make a 10-cent call to downtown Brooklyn will have to dial the prefix one.
The area code of 718 before the regular seven-digit number.
The commission is adopting a plan that is moving forward by the New York Telephone Company last year.
The utility says the city, facing increasing demand from business customers, was rapidly running out of new numbers.
Without the action, P.S.C. says, “the company will not assign telephone numbers to new customers.”
A New York Telephone spokesman, Charles Herndon, says the move was needed to “resolve the New York City telephone danger three million numbers.
Mr. Herndon says the plan will cost the company, and in the end, its customers, $25 million, mainly for new equipment.
He did not estimate the costs of new business cards, advertising. Also, the changes in automatic dialing systems the new code will require.
Three million telephone numbers in the city will divide roughly half, with 736,000 in Brooklyn, 127,000 on Staten Island. 854,000 in Queens assigning to the new code.
Mr. Herndon says that the 718 code was assigned to the city years ago by the North American Dialing Plan.
This group manages area codes in the United States, Mexico, and Canada.
“Of the numbers available at the time, 718 was the best,” he said. “There were not that many available.” So a consultant is Plan to Rejects.
The P.S.C. rejects recommendations by a consultant that the City Board of Estimate hires.
The commission had delayed its decision for seven months to give the consultant, Economics and Technology Inc chance to submit recommendations.
Instead, the commission says the consultant had put forward a profit plan for using the new code exclusively for computers, paging systems, and other devices.
“This proposal will not allow a delay and consequence high costs and inconveniences.” The P.S .C. says. It adds that the recommendation “failing to provide a technically or economically conveniently substitute.”
Mr. Manes says he was considering filing a suit over the issue. City Council President Carol Bellamy says it was “unfair to penalize people for the needs of machines.”
State Attorney General Robert Abrams is called the action “bad public policy.”
“We have done all that we will do as far as I know to keep a single number.”
But, Mayor Koch says. ” sure I am that we will survive now that two area codes will serve the city instead of just one.” The promise of Legislative Action.
Last year, the Assembly passed legislation except for the change, but the Senate did not act.
Assembly Speaker Stanley Fink, Democrat of Brooklyn, says through a spokesperson.
“The residents of Brooklyn and Queens will look forward to a legislative response.”
Queens And Staten Island Gains Approval
State Senator John J. Marchi, Republican of Staten Island and a bill sponsor last year, says he will not act until he had a chance to study the decision.
“There won’t be great hosannas on Staten Island,” he says. “It will be untidy in terms of service access.”
Mr. Herndon says New York Telephone will immediately begin “one of the largest consumer-education programs.” It has undertaken to notify customers “locally and from coast to coast” of the change.
The P.S.C. says that for a month after the new code became compulsory.
After that, it would answer wrong numbers with a recording to remind callers of the new code.
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