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Bragging Rights to 212 Won’t Be Strictly New York State of Mind

One of Manhattan’s status symbols, a telephone number starting with 212, would lose some of its exclusivity under a U.S. move to sever the link between geography and area codes.

Voice-over-Internet providers led by Vonage Holdings Corp. want direct access to the national pool of unused numbers. That would end their reliance on middlemen tied to area codes and offer new freedom to assign numbers regardless of location.