ARCHIVED - Telecom - Commission Letter - 8665-A83-200409492 - Reclamation of 5-1-1 and 8-1-1 access codes

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Ottawa, 5 November 2004

Transmitted electronically or via facsimile

Our file:8665-A83-200409492

To:   Alberta Health & Wellness, Northwestel and Canadian Association of the Deaf)

Subject:   Reclamation of 5-1-1 and 8-1-1 access codes

Recently the Commission has seen an increase in applications for three digit N-1-1 access codes. For example, the Commission has received two applications for the allocation of 3-1-1, the first having been filed on 31 October 2003 by the City of Calgary (Joint Applicant - Municipalities) for non-emergency municipal government services in Canada (ref. 8665-C126-200315699 ) and the second having been filed on 24 August 2004 by Alberta Health and Wellness on behalf of the provincial and territorial Deputy- Ministers of Health for non-urgent health triage services (ref. 8665-A83-200409492 ).

Today, the Commission issued Assignment of 311 for non-emergency municipal government services , Telecom Decision CRTC 2004-71, 5 November 2004 . With the release of this decision, absent further action, there would be no N-1-1 access codes available to meet the current and anticipated needs for N-1-1 access codes in Canada . Following an examination of the situation, it is appropriate that two N-1-1 codes that are either not currently in service or are significantly under-utilized, be reclaimed immediately. The N-1-1 access codes in question are 5-1-1 and 8-1-1 .

With regard to 5-1-1 , this N-1-1 code has been in a reserved status to provide access to Message Relay Service (MRS) for the hearing. This reservation was undertaken at the same time that 7-1-1 was assigned for access to MRS by the hearing impaired. Although 7-1-1 has been in-service for almost a decade, access to MRS by the hearing has been provided through the use of a toll-free number (i.e., 1-800-855-0511). Since the use of the toll-free number appears to meet the needs of the hearing in accessing MRS, Commission staff recently contacted the Canadian Association of the Deaf (CAD) with regard to the potential reclamation of the 5-1-1 resource. The CAD has stated that it does not object to the reclamation of 5-1-1 , since it has never been placed in service.

With regard to 8-1-1 , this N-1-1 code has been designated for access to "business office", an option that has been available to local exchange carriers for several decades. In Canada , 8-1-1 has not been deployed by the vast majority of local exchange carriers, with one notable exception being Northwestel. Since Northwestel had implemented

8-1-1 for access to its business office for its residential and small business customers, Commission staff contacted Northwestel regarding the potential reclamation of the 8-1-1 access code. Northwestel indicated that although it would not object to the reclamation, it would require time to develop and implement an alternate means by which its customers could access its business office and to change all of its telephone directories. Northwestel indicated that it could vacate 8-1-1 mid-2006 at the earliest.

In light of the above, and by way of this letter, the 5-1-1 and 8-1-1 resources are available for reassignment in all parts of Canada effective immediately, except 8-1-1 in Northwestel territory, which will be available for reassignment 1 July 2006 .

With regard to the application submitted by Alberta Health and Wellness for assignment of the 3-1-1 resource for access to non-urgent health triage services, the 3-1-1 resource is no longer available for assignment. Alberta Health and Wellness may amend its application to request an available N-1-1 resource, serving a copy on all interested parties. Parties will then have 30 days to file comments and Alberta Health and Wellness will have 10 days in which it may file reply comments.


(Original signed by)

Shirley Soehn
Executive Director, Telecommunications

cc:     Interested Parties: Telephone Companies, Wireless Service Providers and Other Carriers, Competitive Local Exchange Carriers, Independent Carriers (ref. Lists at   

Date modified: 2004-11-05

Date modified: