NBC4-NY reported that the New York State Public Service Commission announced Tuesday that the new area code is needed to meet New York City's growing population and a thriving telecommunications market, which have increased demand for residential and business phone numbers in Manhattan.
another article at:
Many, many years ago New Yorkers could dial seven digits to reach not only anywhere within New York City, but also neighboring New Jersey, Westchester, and Nassau counties.
(Some calls required eight digits: some exchanges had eight digit numbers, such as HO 5-10232, and party line subscribers had a letter suffix which was dialed. For dialed calls into a manual exchange, the eight digits showed up on the operator's display screen.)
This isn't really news. NANPA has been predicting that 212/646 will run out around 4Q2017 for a long time:
Since this just adds another area code to an overlaid area, the switches will have to be updated but most people won't notice anything other than that there's yet another uncool area code.
Here in rustic upstate NY, 315 will be overlaid by 680 starting early next year which means 7D dialing will stop working, and out on Long Island the permissive period for 631's overlay of 934 is already in progress, again phasing out 7D.
The articles regarding the new 332 area code didn't mention this. And it certainly wasn't the case in my recollection. We needed to use 516 to reach Nassau County from Manhattan in the early 1960s. Perhaps people living in eastern Queens or Brooklyn could reach Nassau numbers without an area code, through the use of NXX codes that weren't used in both NPAs (just as DC and suburban Maryland could call each other with 7 digits despite different area codes, at one point). Any more information?
It began on May 14, 1950. I believe area codes were required around
1960 due to the explosive suburban growth. (--NYT, pg 52, 5/14/1950).
At the same time, NY Telephone changed from itemized billing to bulk billing (message units). This saved the company billing expenses from listing many 15c or 25c calls on the bill. It made a slight decrease in cost to the customer (ref above NYT article).
However, a lot of subscribers objected to this because they wanted to see an itemized bill, not just a bulk count of message units. Several cities used that approach, I believe Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and northern New Jersey.
In some cases an AMA record was still produced, but in others the line's message register was simply incremented as needed for the call. Message registers were part of the Panel System and No. 1 Crossbar design.
Philadelphia landline subscribers who have basic service still pay message unit charges (now called "measured service") for suburban calls. If memory serves, the basic message unit cost has been 7c for the last fifty years. In recent years, Verizon has expanded the free calling areas. So, adjusted for inflation, the cost of suburban calling for basic subscribers has dropped quite a bit.
Many areas near an area code border had seven digit dialing and local calling across the border, even if it crossed state lines. The 7 digit dialing ended when the respective areas got squeezed on exchange nacodes. While the 7 digit dialing went away, the local calling still remains.
As an aside, in some upper parts of Westchester County, only five digits were required for a local call into the 1980s.
As an aside, following WW II, many areas in Long Island and eastern Queens were still served by manual switchboards. There was a major telephone strike at that time. People with dial service could still make local calls, but manual subscribers had extremely limited service. The telco urged such subscribers to only use the phone for emergencies (management manned the switchboards and of course was spread very thin).
The last manual exchange in New York City, City Island in the Bronx, cut over to dial (No. 5 crossbar) in May 1960.