ALBANY, N.Y. -- "We are pleased by the New York Public Service Commission's endorsement of an area code overlay for Manhattan. We can now move forward with extensive education programs to help all telephone users adapt to the new area code as smoothly and quickly as possible.
"The overlay plan, which we had recommended, will enable us to implement the new 646 area code in Manhattan with the least amount of disruption and expense to businesses and consumers.
"Under the plan no customers in Manhattan would have to make any change in their current telephone numbers or area code. Once the 212 area code runs out of numbers, anyone ordering a new telephone line would be given a number in the 646 area code.
"Compared to the other proposals considered by the PSC for implementing a new area code, the overlay plan is the fairest to everyone and will last the longest. In addition, the overwhelming majority of consumers who contacted us and the PSC said they favored the overlay.
"As for the PSC's recommendation on number pooling, Bell Atlantic believes number pooling is good for the telecommunications industry and good for competition.