Progress. Not.

The New York State Public Commission recently announced that the planned overlay or splitting of the 315 area code, originally slated for autumn 2010, has now been pushed off until 2013. Area codes are often split or overlayed with a new area code when the number of available telephone numbers in the original area code is close to exhaustion.

Media outlets report that the change in the projected exhaustion date is due to a decline in the demand for new telephone numbers in this area, mostly due to a faltering recession and a failure to meet the projected demand for numbers.

Let’s put this into perspective. In today’s world many individuals have multiple telephone numbers; there is their traditional landline number in addition to any number of cell phones within a household, not to mention fax machines, dedicated internet circuits and the like. So with the unprecedented explosion of technology currently underway, the folks in the 315 area code are not grabbing up the numbers as quickly as originally projected.

I will say that steps have been taken to use as many possible telephone number combinations in this area as possible before embarking on the task of adding an additional area code to the area. However, if you think about it, we are not gobbling up existing numbers because industry and business is not moving into this area and as a result people are leaving the area in droves in search of employment.

To run out of available telephone numbers in 315, while an inconvenience to many, is an indicator that the area is thriving and that we can’t keep up with the demand being placed on our telecommunications infrastructure. Quite frankly (and unfortunately, predictably) the complete opposite is true. Our area is not thriving. Not as many people as originally projected want a 315 telephone number. There is no demand from new people here because there are no new people moving here.

So rest assured fine citizens that you needn’t worry about the labourious task of dialing all 10 digits because of the overlay of a new area code or you won’t have to remember that half of 315 suddenly became 938 (totally random number made up by me) and you have to remember which half you’re in, because you can squarely remain a “315er”.