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      Empty room at 315 area code meeting in Syracuse

      No one showed up to a public comment session in Syracuse on Wednesday to voice their opinions about looming changes to the 315 area code.

      The afternoon session was empty at the State Office Building on East Washington Street. The Public Service Commission (PSC) says they are not concerned by the lack of turnout because people are still able to go online to fill out a survey.

      The PSC must decide whether to assign the new area code by dividing the region geographically or whether to overlay the area code across the region.

      The PSC says a new area code is inevitable because of all the new technology which has loaded up the 315 area code. 315 currently serves a 19 county area of Central New York and will run out of phone numbers in the year 2015. This is not the first time we've seen a split or overlay in the area code. Both have happened in the state several times.

      On Monday, about 20 people showed up at a PSC meeting in Utica. Another hearing was held in Watertown on Tuesday. Many have expressed concerns about how a new area code could affect business advertising, force people to get new phone numbers, and dial digits to make a local call. State officials told people who attended the hearing that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) predicts the nation will soon run out of area codes which could complicate the situation further.

      Another informational session will be held at the State Office Building at 6 p.m. followed by a public comment period at 7 p.m.

      The PSC is expected to make a decision on the new area code in the next few weeks. They say it will take about a year and a half to complete the project.