The 411 on 934

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Citing the fact that all of the available phone numbers in the 631 area code are expected to be used up by the middle of 2016, the New York State Public Service Commission this week announced that Suffolk County would get a second area code: 934.

And you thought it was difficult to remember the telephone number of your favorite pizza place. And that was when you only had to dial seven digits. Pretty soon, you’ll have to dial an area code as well.

In adopting the new area code, the PSC decided to use what is called “an overlay” approach, in which new numbers created will be assigned the new area code. That is an easier way to implement a new area code, but it will require that anyone calling any number, dial all 10 digits. (Advice to cell phone users: update your contact list now.)

The other option would have been to assign the new area code for all numbers in a given geographic area. That was the case in 2000 when the 516 area code, which formerly was used for all Long Island numbers outside of New York City, was complemented by the 631 area code, which was assigned to all numbers in Suffolk County, resulting, no doubt, in a spike in the number of wrong numbers dialed.

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