When “631” runs out of assignable telephone numbers in 2016, the new area code for Suffolk County will be “934.”
The North American Numbering Plan Administrator has directed local telephone companies to activate the new 934 area code before the end of the third quarter of 2016, according to a statement released by the organization on Friday.
After some debate on how the new area code would be implemented, the New York State Public Service Commission decision to go with the “overlay” approach, which residents preferred over the “geographic split.”
In July, the commission began examining the two options. An overlay occurs when a new area code is superimposed on an existing calling area. A geographical split would have divided the current 631 area of Suffolk County into two separate zones, with one area keeping 631 and the other receiving a new code.
Based on feedback at several public meetings, the commission determined an overlay would be easier to implement and less expensive from a customer standpoint. Additionally, businesses would not be forced to change signage and branding in the event of a geographic split.
To change will be implemented over 16 months, including a nine-month permissive dialing period, where calls can still be made with just a seven-digit number. The commission will be conducting outreach during that time to ensure customers are aware of the area code change.
The new area code will be ready to be assigned in the third quarter of 2016.