ARCHIVED - Telecom - Commission Letter - 8698-C12-09/00 - I am writing to requestyour assistance and advice on how the Canadian Radio-television andTelecommunications Commission (CRTC) could ensure that the Canadian alarm andsecurity industry is aware of the challenge of area code exhaust

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Ottawa, 28 June 2001

Mr. Jeffrey MacLean
Executive Director
CANASA National Office
610 Alden Road, Suite 100
Markham, ON L3R 9Z1

Transmitted electronically

Dear Mr. MacLean,

I am writing to request your assistance and advice on how the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) could ensure that the Canadian alarm and security industry is aware of the challenge of area code exhaust. In addition, the CRTC seeks your industry's participation as early as possible in activity to develop and implement plans to meet this challenge.

Under the Telecommunications Act, the CRTC has general powers over telephone numbers in Canada. As you may be aware, many area codes have exhausted in a number of regions in Canada since 1993. This has meant the introduction of new area codes through various methods such as area code splits and overlays.

Forecasts indicate that the demand for telephone numbers is not expected to decrease in the foreseeable future. In addition, a number of additional Canadian area codes are expected to exhaust in the next three to five years.

Often, during the process of introducing a second or third area code in a region, there is a need to change the way local calls are dialed -- from local seven-digit to local 10-digit dialing. This change requires consumers to adjust their dialing habits. Customers must also reprogram telephone equipment such as facsimile machines, computer modems and speed dial lists. In addition, changes must be made to equipment in alarm, security and entry systems.

The Commission understands that the requirement to reprogram alarm and security panels frequently involves an on-site visit to customer premises.

Consumer awareness and long-term planning is required to minimize costs, while ensuring the necessary changes are made in a timely fashion. Since the Commission assumed jurisdiction over numbering, it has put in place a number of public processes to increase public awareness of and participation in area code relief planning and implementation.

The CRTC, the Canadian Numbering Administrator (CNA) and local telecommunication service providers heighten awareness and notify the public of changes that may be required to their systems and dialing habits through the distribution of public notices, CRTC decisions, media releases and advertising/media campaigns.

Recently, however, in British Columbia, area code relief efforts moved forward more quickly than the public awareness efforts and, as a result, the public notification campaign was unable to meet its intended objectives.

The CRTC would like to invite all CANASA members to register as interested parties in area code relief proceedings and to participate in working groups that the CRTC has established to examine solutions for regions where area codes are projected to exhaust. For your information, please see the attached list of Canadian area codes that are projected to exhaust by 2007.

I would be pleased to meet with you at your convenience to discuss how the Canadian alarm and security industry could participate as early as possible in the planning process for area code relief projects.

In the meantime, I encourage you and your members to monitor area code relief through the CNA website at You and your members can also monitor the demand for central office codes within each Canadian area code based on Central Office Code Utilization Surveys (COCUS) at

In addition, information regarding the planning committee activities and CRTC proceedings can be found on the Commission's web site at (under NPA Relief) and at

I will be on vacation until 10 July 2001, but perhaps we can talk when I return. I look forward to hearing from you.

Best Regards,

Brenda Stevens
Brenda M. Stevens
Manager Numbering
CRTC Telecom Branch

cc Steve Kelley CANASA BC Chapter

Coral McFadden CANASA BC Chapter
Lynne Hewitson CANASA
Tracy Cannata CANASA
Glenn Pilley C.N.A.

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