Maine Public Utilities Commission
Public Utilities Commission
242 State Street
Augusta, Maine 04333-0018
Website: http://www.maine.gov/mpuc/, Email: email@example.com
CONTACT: Phillip Lindley, 207.287.1598, firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 24, 2004
207 Area Code For Maine –
PUC Successful With Phone Number Conservation Measures
AUGUSTA, MAINE – A recent report from the North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA) pushes the exhaust date for Maine’s 207 area code out to the first quarter of 2012. Maine will continue to be one of only 14 states with one area code, the same one we have had since 1947. On August 7, 1998, the North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA) notified the Commission that a new area code would be needed in Maine by June 2000. Since that time the Commission has worked extensively at both state and federal levels to change the numbering resource allocation procedures and practices. The new projected exhaust date of the first quarter of 2012 is a twelve-year extension. While we feel that NANPA’s exhaust date estimate is conservative – we expect to be able to keep to a single area code far beyond even 2012 – we applaud NANPA's recognition that Maine’s number conservation efforts have made a significant difference.
The Maine PUC led a nationwide effort by state regulatory commissions to get the FCC to change its rules relating to number resource allocation and to begin using more efficient methods, such a thousand block number pooling. Under pooling, carriers are given blocks of 1,000 numbers rather than 10,000 for each exchange that they serve. In June 2000, Maine became one of the first states in the nation to employ thousand-block number pooling. Because of the rural nature of our state and our many small towns, pooling has been very effective in increasing the efficiency of number usage in Maine. The Commission has also adopted additional conservation measures which, when combined with number pooling, should continue to delay the need for a second area code in Maine well beyond the time estimated by NANPA. In addition, since November 2002, when wireless companies implemented local number portability (LNP), cellular providers can also participate in number pooling, further helping conservation efforts. “Given that six years ago, the North American Numbering Plan Administrator told us that a new area code would be needed by June of 2000, we believe our efforts have been well spent and will continue to benefit Maine consumers and businesses for many years to come,” said Chairman Tom Welch.
The Commission will continue to advocate for all the regulatory and conservation tools we need, both at the FCC and in coordination with industry and other state commissions. Maine consumers and businesses should not be burdened by the costs and inconveniences associated with new area codes when effective conservation measures can avoid the need for a new area code in the first place. The area code number – “207” – is also used in titles for television shows and newspaper features.
When the current national numbering scheme was adopted in 1947, 86 area codes were assigned to the US and Canada – 35 states had a single area code. There are 680 usable area codes in the United States, of which 324 are currently in use (for the US, Canada, and the Caribbean). Each area code has 7,920,000 telephone numbers (10,000 for each of 792 prefixes) available within it. Some numbers, such as those that would start with 0,1 or 911, are unavailable for use. Others, like the area code "555", which is used for fake phone numbers in movies and on TV, are reserved for special use. There are 562 prefixes (or central office codes) already assigned in Maine. About 190 prefixes remain for use (1.9 million telephone numbers). Nearly 100 central office codes have been recovered in the last two years due to number pooling and other conservation efforts.
All PUC News Releases may be found on our website at: http://www.state.me.us/mpuc/newsreleases2004.htm
To arrange an interview with Chairman Welch or Commissioners Diamond or Reishus, please contact Phillip Lindley at 207.287.1598 or by e-mail at email@example.com. The Commission’s website may be accessed through the Maine School and Library Network at all public libraries in Maine.