New York State approves adding a new area code in Capital Region

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Public Service Commission voted to approve the addition of another area code in the Capital Region to meet demands for new numbers.

For some, the 518 is more than just an area code; it’s a lifestyle. But now people are going to have to make room for another area code.

518 is the only original area code in New York that has stayed true to its original boundaries. It’s one of the few national codes that has never been split or overlaid.

But on Thursday, the Public Service Commission approved an overlay of the 518 area code as demands for new numbers continue to rise.

“We thought there was an exhaust and that the exhaust wasn’t going to happen, but in this case, we’re running out of time,” NYS Public Commission Chair Audrey Zibelman said. “Exhaust is happening more quickly.”

It will only affect new numbers, but in 2017, everyone in the Capital Region will have to get used to always dialing ten digits.

“Plus, I’m getting older and another number to remember, it’ll be really hard to keep it straight,” Dave Gadomski, of Albany, said.

But for some, the Capital District will always be the 518.

“Past 10 years, I’ve always lived here on Lark Street or right off of Lark Street,” Sarah Hicks said. “You see a lot of people with Capital District pride, like 518 on their shirts. There was a shirt company that was here for a little while that printed 518 on their shirts. It was a really big thing here; it is a really big thing here.”

Implementing a new area code takes approximately 18 months, but the Public Service Commission said it may expedite this particular case.

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