News Release


For More Information:

William R. Steinhaus
Dutchess County Executive
(845) 486-2000

For Immediate Release

September 30, 1999

Steinhaus Endorses Keeping 914 Area Code in Dutchess

Poughkeepsie, NY - County Executive William R. Steinhaus announced his support for the plan which would create a geographical split separating a new telephone area code from the 914 area code in Dutchess County. The plan was in response to a shortage of numbers within the 914 area code.

"After much research and study, I feel the best solution for the residents of Dutchess County would be to geographically separate the new area code from the existing one and retain 914 for Dutchess County," said Steinhaus. "I also believe we should switch all the residents within Dutchess County who have a 518 area codes over to 914 as well. By doing that residents will not get charged long distance rates while calling within the county."

The other alternative being considered is an overlay plan, which would mean a new area code would exist in the county together with the 914 area code. This could result in phone numbers within the same building having different area codes. "This is simply not a practical or user friendly alternative because it would require 10-digit dialing for all calls, even within the same area code," Steinhaus noted. "It would cause a lot of confusion."

Since the early 1950's, the Hudson Valley and the Catskill regions of New York State have had one area code. However, with the increase in population and usage of fax machines, cellular phones, modems and pagers, the 914 area code is running out of numbers. As a result, the North American Area Code Administrator for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has determined that another area code is needed.

"Ultimately the New York State Public Service Commission will have to make the decision. In the meantime, however, I have signed local legislation that makes Dutchess County's position quite clear," Steinhaus commented. "Residents and businesses in the county will be less inconvenienced if we can keep the 914 area code. Also, the fact that another area will be given a new area code will free up many other 914 numbers allowing all Dutchess County residents to have a 914 number."


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