Lane Filler Portrait of Newsday editorial board member Lane Filler

Lane Filler is a member of the Newsday editorial board. He came to Long Island in 2010.

Since we're getting ready to add a new area code in Suffolk County, here's a little known fact about area codes I thought I'd share. Sometime around 2038 it's projected that we're going to run out of area codes altogether. What will that mean?

How well do you remember Y2K?

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It will mean that every phone number in the United States, Canada and most of the Caribbean will have to have one or two numbers added to it, which means every phone will have to be reporgrammed. Also, websites will have to be updated, signs and paperwork redesigned and printed and, I guess, bathroom graffiti promising a good time if you call a certain number will have to be re-etched with a dull pocket knife.

What we have going on right now isn't nearly so bad.

Suffolk will run out of phone numbers in about 2016, probably, and so needs a new area code (Nassau will need a new one in 2020).

I think it we should pick our own favorite area code and demand that our state Public Service Commission fight to get it for us. Our first round of voting pared the possibilities among 145 available area codes down to 10. Now it's time to choose among the finalists. So vote early, vote often, and let's get an area code we can proud of until 2037, when the whole thing goes kerblooey.

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