ARCHIVED - Telecom Decision CRTC 2010-784

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Ottawa, 22 October 2010

CRTC Interconnection Steering Committee consensus item – Reservation of area codes for future area code relief

File number: 8621-C12-01/08

The report

1.      At its 16 April 2010 meeting, the CRTC Interconnection Steering Committee (CISC) approved and forwarded Canadian Steering Committee on Numbering (CSCN) Task Identification Form (TIF) Report 87, entitled Reservation of Future Canadian Geographic NPA Codes for relief of existing Canadian NPAs forecast to exhaust in the next 25 year timeframe (CNRE087A), to the Commission for its consideration and approval.

2.      The consensus report, dated 7 April 2010, can be found under “Reports” on the 16 April 2010 CISC meeting agenda, which is available on the Commission’s website.

3.      In the consensus report, the CSCN recommended that the Commission direct the Canadian Numbering Administrator (CNA) to request the North American Numbering Plan Administrator to reserve a number of Numbering Plan Area (NPA) codes – or area codes – in the Canadian pool of Canadian area codes for future area code relief in Canada. The requested area codes are listed in the Appendix to this decision.

4.      The CSCN noted that there are a number of benefits to reserving future area codes well in advance of when they may be needed for relief purposes. First, it noted that reserving these area codes now would permit telecommunications service providers and customers to include them in their operational support systems and information technology systems at the same time they modify these systems for nearer-term area code relief activities. It also noted that by knowing the future area codes for the areas covered by current area codes, the CNA would have a clear understanding of the central office codes that cannot be assigned within each area code, which would help prevent dialing issues when the future relief area codes are put into service. The CSCN submitted that these benefits would be more easily achieved if the area codes noted in its report were reserved now.

Commission’s analysis and determination

5.      The Commission agrees that there are benefits to knowing which future area codes will be used for relief of certain Canadian area codes. However, the Commission notes that the projected exhaust dates of some of the existing area codes in the CSCN’s list are many years away. The Commission considers that much can change in that time, which may alter the requirements for suitable relief for the existing area codes. In addition, more pressing needs may arise for the area codes the CSCN has proposed to reserve.

6.      The Commission is, therefore, reluctant to categorically assign these area codes from the Canadian pool of area codes for specific relief measures that could be required in the distant future. However, since there is a benefit in knowing with some degree of certainty which area codes could be used for relief in the future, the Commission considers that rather than reserving these area codes, setting them aside would provide sufficient protection for these area codes so that they are not used for other purposes, while maintaining a degree of flexibility for unforeseen events into the future. Additionally, the Commission considers that setting aside these area codes would provide the benefits for planning purposes sought by the industry.

7.      Accordingly, the Commission directs the CNA to set aside the area codes noted in the Appendix for the relief of Canadian in-service area codes. If these area codes are required for other purposes before they are used as the CSCN has proposed, the CNA may request that the Commission approve their use for alternative assignments.

Secretary General


Requested area code reservations

Existing NPA

Description of NPA

Proposed area code reservation


Southern Ontario



Toronto fringe, southern Ontario



Province of Saskatchewan



Toronto, Ontario



Province of New Brunswick



Province of Newfoundland and Labrador



Provinces of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island


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