Telecom Decision CRTC 2018-332
Ottawa, 30 August 2018
Public record: 1011-NOC2016-0206
Relief for area code 506 in New Brunswick
The Commission determines that relief for area code 506 in New Brunswick is to be provided by implementing a distributed overlay of new area code 428, effective 21 November 2020. Customers in that province will be transitioned to 10-digit local dialing, beginning 13 August 2020, as part of the implementation of the distributed overlay of new area code 428. The Commission also approves the 506 relief planning committee’s report, including the proposed planning document and relief implementation plan.
- On 11 March 2016, the Canadian Numbering Administrator (CNA)Footnote 1 advised the Commission that, based on the results of the most recent Canadian numbering resource utilization forecast (NRUF), area code 506 was projected to exhaust by February 2021.Footnote 2 Area code 506 covers the whole province of New Brunswick.
- The Commission subsequently issued Telecom Notice of Consultation 2016-206, in which it established a CRTC Interconnection Steering Committee (CISC)Footnote 3 ad hoc relief planning committee to examine options and make recommendations for providing additional numbering resources in the area served by area code 506 (the 506 relief planning committee). The Commission directed the CNA to chair the committee.
- On 22 June 2018, the Commission received a consensus report (506RE01A)from the 506 relief planning committee. The report included a planning document and a relief implementation plan. These documents are available on the CNA’s website.
- In the planning document, the 506 relief planning committee stated that the January 2018 relief NRUF indicated that the projected exhaust date for area code 506 is currently December 2021. Accordingly, the 506 relief planning committee recommended that
- the relief method used should be a distributed overlay of a new area code on the area covered by existing area code 506, with an effective date of 21 November 2020;
- the relief area code should be 428;
- the local dialing plan should be changed to 10 digits for all local calls originating in the area covered by area code 506;
- all telecommunications service providers (TSPs) must have modified their network infrastructure to permit 10-digit local dialing by 22 May 2020;
- a 7- to 10-digit local dialing transition period, also known as permissive dialing, should be implemented beginning 20 August 2020, with network announcements on calls dialed using 7 digits phased in over one week (13-20 August 2020);Footnote 4
- mandatory 10-digit local dialing should be implemented beginning 14 November 2020, with network announcements on calls dialed using 7 digits phased in over one week (7-14 November 2020);Footnote 5 and
- standard network announcements should be implemented beginning 24 February 2021 and completed within one month (by 26 March 2021).Footnote 6
- In the relief implementation plan, the 506 relief planning committee proposed a public framework and time frame for implementing relief for area code 506. The plan also addressed the activities, deliverables, and issues impacting more than one individual TSP. It did not cover activities internal to each TSP, nor areas for which there is already an established process for coordination between TSPs to establish service.
- The 506 relief planning committee requested that the Commission approve the proposed planning document and relief implementation plan for area code 506.
Should the Commission approve the report?
- In the planning document, the 506 relief planning committee evaluated six relief options: one distributed overlay option and five concentrated overlay options. The distributed overlay option would introduce a new area code as an overlay on all 88 exchange areas in area code 506. The concentrated overlay options would each introduce a new area code as an overlay on different geographical areas covering specific exchange areas.
- The Commission considers that implementing concentrated overlays would increase the number of relief planning areas from one to two, which would result in additional work in the future, since the different numbering plan areas would exhaust on different dates and separate relief implementation plans would be required. In addition, concentrated overlays would have to be implemented in the first quarter of 2020, which would not allow sufficient time for some TSPs to implement 10-digit local dialing and introduce the new area code. The Commission therefore considers the 506 relief planning committee’s recommendation for a distributed overlay to be the preferable option.
Relief area code
- In Telecom Decision 2010-784, the Commission directed the CNA to set aside area code 428 for relief of area code 506. The 506 relief planning committee noted that area code 428 still meets the criteria for relief of area code 506, based on the Numbering Plan Area (NPA) Code Selection Tool on the CNA’s website.Footnote 7 The Commission considers that it would be appropriate to use area code 428 for relief of area code 506.
- The Commission notes that the proposed relief date of 21 November 2020 reflects the results of the latest NRUF for area code 506 and will provide TSPs and customers with advance notification and sufficient lead-time to implement relief. The Commission therefore considers that date appropriate.
- With regard to the transition to 10-digit dialing, the Commission notes that all the relief options would require the implementation of mandatory 10-digit local dialing, and the 506 relief planning committee’s recommendation uses established methods and a three-month permissive dialing period. The planning document also includes a requirement for TSPs to inform their customers of dialing plan changes, as outlined in paragraph 4 above, consistent with the Commission’s determinations in Telecom Decision 2006-26 and Telecom Regulatory Policy 2009-156.
- In addition, the relief implementation plan includes a schedule for relief implementation as well as the network and consumer communications activities that would need to be completed as part of the relief implementation process. In this regard, the Commission considers that the plan is consistent with the steps identified in the Canadian NPA Relief Planning Guidelines and sets out implementation timelines that TSPs can follow to meet the proposed relief implementation date. However, the Commission notes that the permissive dialing period should be implemented beginning 13 August 2020 and that the mandatory 10-digit local dialing period should be implemented beginning 7 November 2020.
- In light of all the above, the Commission approves, subject to the above-mentioned modification, the 506 relief planning committee’s report, including the proposed planning document and relief implementation plan, and determines that
- the region served by area code 506 in New Brunswick is to be overlaid with a new area code, effective 21 November 2020;
- area code 428 is to be used for area code relief; and
- the local dialing plan is to be changed to 10 digits for all local calls originating in area code 506.
- Consequently, the Commission directs all TSPs to
- modify their network infrastructure to permit 10-digit local dialing by 22 May 2020;
- implement a 7- to 10-digit local dialing transition period beginning 13 August 2020, with network announcements on calls dialed using 7 digits phased in over one week (13-20 August 2020);
- implement mandatory 10-digit local dialing beginning 7 November 2020, with network announcements on calls dialed using 7 digits phased in over one week (7-14 November 2020); and
- implement standard network announcements beginning 24 February 2021, to be completed within one month (by 26 March 2021).
- Establishment of a CISC ad hoc committee for relief planning for area code 506 in New Brunswick, Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2016-206, 31 May 2016
- CRTC Interconnection Steering Committee consensus item – Reservation of area codes for future area code relief, Telecom Decision CRTC 2010-784, 22 October 2010
- Revised regulatory requirements to provide information to customers, Telecom Regulatory Policy CRTC 2009-156, 24 March 2009
- Relief implementation plans for area codes 450, 514, 519, 613 and 819, Telecom Decision CRTC 2006-26, 11 May 2006
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