NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that on July 22, 2013, Neustar, Inc., in its role as the North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA), notified the Commission that the projected exhaust date for the 336 numbering plan area (NPA) code had been revised to second quarter 2016. in an earlier filed petition, in this docket, Neustar requested that the Commission approve the Industry’s recommended all-services distributed overlay relief plan for the 336 area code.
TWO AREA CODES AND TEN-DIGIT DIALING
Industry representatives have recommended a “distributed overlay” as the relief plan for the 336 area code. Under the recommended plan, a new area code would be assigned to cover or “overlay” the entire geographic area using the existing 336 area code boundary lines. This would result in two area. codes for the same geographic area. The chief advantage of using an overlay relief plan is that existing telephone subscribers would not have to change area codes or telephone numbers. When telephone numbers in the 336 area code run out, new residential and business telephone numbers for the area would be assigned from the new area code. The chief disadvantage of using an overlay relief plan is that all local calls dialed using seven digits today would have to be dialed using ten digits (336 + seven-digit telephone number or new area code + seven-digit telephone number). A Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulation would require ten-digit dialing both between and within the 336 code and the new overlay area code.
OTHER SOLUTIONS WERE CONSIDERED
In Neustar’s recent filing, three variations of a “geographic split” relief plan were also updated for consideration. Under these plans, the geographic area covered by the 336 area code would be split into two parts. Roughly half of the affected telephone subscribers would continue to be served through the 336 area code, and half would change to the new area code. Although ten-digit dialing would not be required within the area codes, most seven-digit dialed calling routes that exist today in the 336 area code would become ten-digit dialed calling routes in both directions if they are split by the new area code boundary. The industry rejected all geographic split relief plans because of the necessity of changing the telephone numbers of a large number of subscribers, the difficulty of predicting growth for the two areas, and potential customer confusion as the area is divided into smaller pieces.