Thursday, October 30, 2008

315 Area Code Number Exhaust Pushed Back Another Year: No Need to Add New Area Code Now

In its semi-annual update on the projected number exhaust date of every area code in North America, the North American Numbering Plan Administrator (“NANPA”) reported this week that as of October 2008, the exhaust rate for the 315 area code has slowed significantly since its April report. In April, the exhaust date was forecasted at the first quarter of 2011 and it has now been pushed back to the first quarter of 2012. In its notes, NANPA explained that this major change is due to a “reduced historical and projected demand.” Translation: Many fewer telephone providers are requesting numbering resources in that area, especially when considered against a recent high demand for numbers.

This news is not surprising to PULP. We have gone to the Public Service Commission on numerous occasions since it announced the need for numbering relief in the 315 area code, arguing that the agency’s wasteful policies of giving out multiple 10,000 telephone number NXX codes to small, rural exchanges had to stop. They were creating an artificial shortage of telephone NXX codes throughout the entire 315 region by stranding literally thousands of telephone numbers where they could never be lawfully used. This artificial shortage was also manifesting itself in other area codes around the state, especially in 518, where the same policies were being applied. See

Also, the legislature began to review the PSC's number utilization practices. See Bill Would Require PSC to More Closely Scrutinize Telephone Area Code Changes.

When the PSC began its proceeding to consider adding a new area code in the current 315 area, it was projected that a new code would be needed by the third quarter of 2010. In the past year, the exhaust date has been pushed back one and one half years. With the advent of different policies for issuing new numbers, the demand for telephone numbers in 315 has become merely a trickle, with only 4 NXX codes being used up in 315 during the first nine months of the year, and with 98 NXX codes remaining. At this rate, it would take more than twenty years to exhaust the numbers. A similar slowing has occurred elsewhere in the state, with the exhaust date, for example, being pushed back a full year in 518 as well. We fully anticipate that should the Commission continue to use diligence and common sense in doling out telephone numbers, that when the next report comes out in April 2009, the 315 number exhaust date will have been pushed back even further. That would be good news to residents, businesses, and the carriers that serve central New York.

Lou Manuta

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