This began on 1 February, 2003, after several years' delay because of a legal appeal by the New York Public Service Commission and the Consumer Federation of America. The Federal Communications Commission had ruled that when a new area code was made to "overlay" an old one, calls made from numbers in both areas would have to use area codes, even when those calls were in-area. The U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals found:
Even with New York's advances in local telephone service competition …, concerns about maintaining competition remain. For instance, without 10-digit dialing, the dialing disparity between numbers in the old and new area codes remains. Second, … any implementation of any new area code … is initially confusing, not only to customers in the affected area, but also to those who call them from outside that area. (U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals Docket No. 99-4205,
PEOPLE OF THE STATE v FCC, http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?navby=search&case=/data2/circs/2nd/994205.html)
The court did not agree that
Without mandatory 10-digit dialing … numbers from the new area code are less valuable than numbers from the old area code, placing the carrier with more old numbers … at an advantage over new carriers, an inequitable result.
The New York Times has two important stories about this issue, at
- 21 January, 2003: "11-Digit Local Dialing Starts In New York City on Feb. 1.
- 25 November, 1997: "Manhattan, Short on (212)'s, Will get a Second Area Code