Telecom Decision CRTC 2017-38

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Ottawa, 3 February 2017

File number: 8621-C12-01/08

CISC Canadian Steering Committee on Numbering – Consensus report CNRE119A regarding setting aside numbering plan area (NPA) codes to be used for relief of existing Canadian NPAs forecast to exhaust in the next 10 years


  1. On 7 November 2016, the Canadian Steering Committee on Numbering (CSCN) of the CRTC Interconnection Steering Committee (CISC) submitted the following consensus report for Commission approval:
    • CSCN TIF Report 119 re: Future Canadian Geographic NPA Codes to be used for relief of existing Canadian NPAs forecast to exhaust in next ten years (CNRE119A)
  2. The consensus report can be found in the "Reports" section of the CSCN page, which is available in the CISC section of the Commission's website at
  3. In the report, the CSCN proposed that the Commission set aside certain numbering plan area (NPA) codes (also known as area codes) to be used for relief of existing Canadian NPAs forecast to exhaust in the next 10 years.
  4. In addition to seeking Commission approval for the proposed set-aside of NPA codes, the CSCN requested that the Commission direct the Canadian Numbering Administrator (CNA), which is the administrator of numbering resources in Canada, to set aside these NPA codes for future relief in the NPAs identified in the consensus report. The codes are provided in Table 2 of the Appendix.
  5. The CSCN submitted that the Commission's decision to set aside certain NPA codes in Telecom Decision 2010-784 proved beneficial to telecommunications service providers (TSPs). TSPs were able to pre-build the set-aside codes into their operational support and information technology systems when they modified the systems for nearer-term area code relief activities, thus resulting in cost savings.
  6. The CSCN noted that almost all the NPA codes that were previously set aside have already been implemented or are in the process of being implemented. In addition, the most recent Canadian Numbering Resource Utilization Forecast indicates that the projected exhaust dates for the majority of Canadian NPAs have advanced significantly and are now within a 10-year time frame.
  7. After assessing the situation, the CSCN concluded that NPA codes should be set aside for NPAs that are projected to exhaust during the next 10 years and for which no NPA Relief Planning Committee currently exists.
  8. The CSCN selected its proposed NPA codes using the criteria contained in section 4.10 of the Canadian NPA Relief Planning Guideline and the current NPA Code Selection Tool.
  9. The CSCN noted that in Telecom Decision 2010-784, the Commission set aside NPA code 942 for future relief of NPA code 902. It submitted, however, that during the NPA 902 Relief Planning Committee meetings, it was argued that 942 was too similar to 902 and, therefore, the committee recommended NPA code 782 in its place.
  10. The CSCN further submitted that NPA code 942 is the only future Canadian NPA code that is unassigned as a central office code in the home and neighbouring NPAs for NPA 416/437/647. It noted that NPA 782/902 is not projected to exhaust until 2033, whereas NPA 416/437/647 is projected to exhaust in 2027. The CSCN therefore recommended that NPA code 942 be set aside for the next relief of NPA 416/437/647, as it will not likely be used for NPA 782/902 relief. It also recommended that NPA code 387, which had been set aside for the relief of NPA 416/437/647 in Telecom Decision 2011-436, be retained for that NPA's subsequent relief. It submitted that no future NPA code is proposed at this time for NPA 782/902, which is not projected to exhaust within the 10-year time frame.

Commission's analysis and determinations

  1. The Commission has already set aside NPA codes for future relief of existing NPAs as indicated in Table 1 of the Appendix.
  2. The Commission has issued notices of consultation to establish Relief Planning Committees for NPAs 236, 250, 604, and 778 in British Columbia,Footnote 1 418 and 581 in north-eastern Quebec,Footnote 2 506 in New Brunswick,Footnote 3 and 709 in Newfoundland and Labrador.Footnote 4 Relief planning for these NPAs is currently underway.
  3. Setting aside NPA codes for future relief in specific regions enables TSPs and customers to benefit from significant cost savings by pre-building future NPAs at the same time as they are making other changes. Further, setting aside certain NPA codes gives the CNA some foreknowledge of the central office codes that it should not assign within each area code, which helps prevent dialing issues when the future relief NPA codes are put into service.
  4. In Telecom Decision 2012-528, the Commission determined that NPA code 782 be used for relief of NPA 902 in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island and that NPA code 942, for planning purposes, be set aside as the most suitable area code for future relief of that NPA. Given that NPA 782/902 is now forecast to exhaust only in 2033, the Commission considers reasonable the proposal to set aside NPA code 942 for the future relief of NPA 416/437/647 (Toronto) instead, which continues to grow in terms of population.
  5. Accordingly, the Commission approves the CSCN's consensus report and directs the CNA to set aside NPA codes as shown in Table 2 of the Appendix.

Secretary General

Related documents

Appendix to Telecom Decision CRTC 2017-38

  1. In the tables below, italics are used to identify NPAs that are forecast to exhaust within the next 10 years, but for which no future NPA codes have been reserved or set aside, or for which Relief Planning Committees have not yet been established.
    Table 1. Existing NPAs and the NPA codes that were set aside for their relief
    Existing NPA Description of NPA Current projected exhaust date (PED) Set-aside NPA codes Telecom Decision Notes
    204/431 Manitoba 2027
    226/519/548 Southern Ontario 2027 382 2013-575
    236/250/604/778 British Columbia 2021 672 2011-451 In relief planning window
    249/705 North-Eastern Ontario 2025
    289/365/905 Surrounds of Toronto, Ontario 2023 742 2010-213
    306/639 Saskatchewan 2027 474 2010-784
    343/613 Eastern Ontario 2025
    403/587/780/825 Alberta 2023 368 2013-574
    416/437/647 Toronto, Ontario 2027 387 2011-436
    418/581 North-Eastern Quebec 2019 In relief planning window
    438/514 Montreal, Quebec 2027
    450/579 Surrounds of Montreal, Quebec 2023
    506 New Brunswick 2021 428 2010-784 In relief planning window
    709 Newfoundland and Labrador 2019 879 2010-784 In relief planning window
    782/902 Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island 2033 942 2010-784 Beyond 10 years
    807 Western Ontario 2038+ Beyond 10 years
    819/873 Quebec West 2025
    867 Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut 2038+ Beyond 10 years
  2. The CSCN's proposal is summarized in Table 2, including the proposal to set aside NPA code 942 for relief of NPA 416/437/647.
    Table 2. Current NPAs and the NPA codes proposed to be set aside for future relief
    Current NPA Description of NPA Proposed relief NPA code PED
    204/431 Manitoba 584 2027
    249/705 North-Eastern Ontario 683 2025
    343/613 Eastern Ontario 753 2025
    416/437/647 Toronto, Ontario 942
    438/514 Montreal, Quebec 263 2027
    450/579 Surrounds of Montreal, Quebec 354 2023
    819/873 Quebec West 468 2025
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