New Area Code Not Needed

Only a 1/4 of area phone numbers are in use.
Post-Standard Letter (published July 16, 2015).

July 16, 2015

To the Editor:

I fail to see how we are running out of phone numbers within the 315 area code. There are approximately 1.5 million residents in the calling area. There are probably 600,000 households and 50,000 businesses. Considering that many households have dropped their landline, its safe to say that total land-lines are less than 650,000. Then their are the cell phones. Not every man, woman, and child has one, but let's suppose 80% or 1.2 million do. Adding it all up, it seems safe to say that the total number of 315 phone numbers in use is between 1.5--2.0 million.

How many phone numbers are possible in the 315 area code? There are 7 digits, each one with 10 possible values, 0-9. So the number of possible combinations equals 10x10x10x10x10x10x10 = 10 million. However, since some numbers are reserved for special purposes, there are 7.92 million numbers generally available.

NANPA currently lists 36 central office codes (first 3 digits) unassigned. That's 360,000 phone numbers officially available. That still leaves nearly 6 million numbers unaccounted for. Where are they? I presume the central office codes assigned to various phone companies are not fully used. The phone companies may be hogging numbers. The PSC should see to it that unused numbers are reclaimed and added back to the unassigned stock.

Only roughly a quarter of possible 315 area phone numbers are currently in use. It is absurd to contemplate splitting the calling area or adding an overlay area code now or any time in the foreseeable future.

Carlo Moneti
Syracuse, NY