PSC Surveying Public for Proposals to go into effect 2015
State Senator Joseph A. Griffo (R, C, IP - Rome) is urging Central and Northern New York residents and businesses to contact the State Public Service Commission (PSC) with their opinion of the proposed plans to alter the existing 315 area code because of predictions that the region will exhaust the number of available phone numbers that can be assigned to new customers.
“The 315 area code has been a part of the region’s telecommunications system for decades. Those three little numbers have become part of our identity and everyday lives, so when someone wants to change them, the consequences are real. That’s why I have said from the beginning, that a thorough analysis was essential and that any changes should receive a complete public disclosure before implementation,” said Griffo, a member of the Senate Standing Committee on Energy and Telecommunications.
The PSC is looking for public feedback on two competing plans. A geographic split would divide residents in the 18-county, 315 area code with consumers in a determined region adopting a new area code and allowing the rest of the 315 area code to stay the same. Another plan, known as an overlay, would have all new phone numbers in the 315 area code use a new area code.
The PSC has made a brief written survey available for consumers to express their support, opposition or suggestions to the proposals. The survey is available on the Department of public Service website www.AskPSC.com. Griffo said that he will also make copies available from his office for those who do not have internet access and request a copy.
Residents will have up until August 16, 2013 to comment on the plans.
“The PSC alerted the public that this change could take place. In 2007, when I first became involved with this issue, the PSC projected that available phone numbers would run out in 2010,” Griffo added. “I was convinced that a proposed overlay might be confusing since the same households might have phones with different area codes. I’ve met and spoken with PSC Chairman Garry A. Brown as part of his efforts to ensure that the PSC adopts the right solution to the area code issue. While they’ve allowed more time to elapse before considering changes to the area code, this is the time for the public to speak up.”