HARRISBURG – Following an announcement by third party area code relief planner, Neustar, that the new projected exhaust date for the 814 area code is the first quarter of 2015, not the first quarter of 2013, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today voted 5-0 to move forward with the scheduling of hearings, but suspend the timeline for implementation of area code relief.
Vice Chairman John F. Coleman, Jr. issued a statement.
In a separate statement, Commissioner Tyrone J. Christy said, “I adamantly believe that additional information continues to be integral in aiding this Commission in its further evaluation of whether, when and what type of area code relief may be necessary for the 814 area code. Both the evidentiary and public input hearings will allow the residents and businesses in the 814 NPA to further inform this Commission of the real implications that the overlay and geographic split options may impose on them.”
Following a request by the Commission for Neustar to analyze the projected exhaust date of “NXX” codes (which is the second set of three digits in a 10-digit telephone number (NPA-NXX-XXXX)) in the 814 area code, Neustar informed the Commission that the new projected exhaust date is the first quarter of 2015, not the first quarter of 2013. The change in projected exhaust dates could be attributed to a variety of factors, including numbering conservation, which the Commission mandates in all area code relief cases. The Commission monitors carrier participation by how many numbers each carrier is permitted to obtain including thousands block pooling.
Due to these efforts, the immediacy for the implementation of timely area code relief in the 814 area code has diminished. However, the projected exhaust date for the 814 area code continues to be too close to the mandatory three-year time frame set forth by the telecommunications industry guidelines and approved by the Federal Communications Commission to suspend or terminate the proceeding. Under this three-year requirement, some form of area code relief is required to be implemented when the supply of numbers within a given area code is to exhaust within 36 months. Therefore, the Commission will continue with its plans to gather additional evidence and will schedule technical hearings and additional public input hearings in the near future to permit the public to comment on the impacts that possible area code relief can bring to their geographic area.
The Commission also voted to suspend the timeline for the implementation of the area code relief plan for the 814 area code. By suspending the timeline for implementation, affected carriers are directed to delay the implementation of the final relief plan so that they do not commence network modifications and residents and businesses do not endure new dialing patterns prematurely.
The public is encouraged to attend any scheduled public input hearings, which will be announced at a future date. For general questions, you can contact the PUC’s Bureau of Consumer Services at 1-800-692-7380.
On Jan. 13, 2011, the Commission granted the more than 40 petitions for reconsideration filed with the Commission pending review of the merits of the petitions. The Commission also approved a joint motion by Commissioner Tyrone J. Christy and Vice Chairman John F. Coleman Jr. to reopen the record in the case to gather more information through technical conferences and additional public input hearings.
The PUC held a comment period, followed by public input hearings throughout the 814 area code in 2010, in response to the June 2009 North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA) petition for area code relief. On Dec. 16, 2010, the Commission said the geographic split was more practical for the 814 area code because of the geographic size of the 814 area code and the location of population centers. With the geographic split, consumers may continue to dial seven digits for local calling. The other option available to the Commission - an overlay - would have covered the entire 814 area code with a new area code and required 10-digit-dialing throughout a large geographic area in Pennsylvania.
NANPA has assigned 582 as the new area code for portions of the current 814 area code west of Jefferson, Elk and McKean counties. The boundary runs in a north/south direction east of Shinglehouse, Wilcox, Kersey, Dubois and Sykesville rate centers. A Frequently Asked Questions fact sheet and a 582/814 proposed exchanges map are available on the Commission's website.
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission balances the needs of consumers and utilities to ensure safe and reliable utility service at reasonable rates; protect the public interest; educate consumers to make independent and informed utility choices; further economic development; and foster new technologies and competitive markets in an environmentally sound manner.
For recent news releases, audio of select Commission proceedings or more information about the PUC, visit our website at www.puc.state.pa.us.
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Docket No. P-2009-2112925