Telecom Decision CRTC 2020-377

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Ottawa, 23 November 2020

Public record: 8621-C12-01/08

CISC Canadian Steering Committee on Numbering – Consensus report CNRE127A – Updated Canadian Emergency Service Routing Digit Block Assignment Guideline


  1. On 27 July 2020, the Canadian Steering Committee on Numbering (CSCN) of the CRTC Interconnection Steering Committee (CISC) submitted the following consensus report (the report) for Commission approval:
    • Update the Canadian Emergency Service Routing Digit (ESRD) Block Assignment Guideline, 22 June 2020 (CNRE127A)
  2. The 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. The CSCN also requested that the Commission approve version 6.0 of the Canadian Emergency Service Routing Digit (ESRD) Block Assignment Guideline (the Guideline), which is included as an attachment to the report. The Guideline sets out procedures for the assignment of blocks of numbers within each ESRD code in all Canadian geographic numbering plan areas.
  4. Cellular and mobile carriers use ESRDs to identify the location of cell sites/sectors to public safety answering points (PSAPs) for enhanced 9-1-1 (E9-1-1) calls. They are non-dialable numbers that are entered into the E9-1-1 automatic location identification (ALI) databases of incumbent local exchange carriers to provide PSAPs with the address information for the cell site/sector from which an E9-1-1 call originated.

Update to the Guideline

  1. The Canadian Numbering Administrator (CNA), which is the ESRD Block Administrator in Canada, noted that the Guideline does not include a process for reusing ESRD blocks that have been returned or recovered. Those ESRD blocks currently have a status of “Recovered/Aging,” but there is no process to return them to the assignment pool. Currently, 80 ESRD blocks have not been returned to the assignment pool.
  2. The CSCN modified the Guideline by adding a reclamation process so that the recovered and aged ESRD blocks can be returned to the assignment pool. This process involves removing returned or recovered ESRD block numbers and related address information from an ALI database and aging the ESRD blocks for 180 days, after which time the ESRD blocks can be returned to the assignment pool.

Commission’s analysis and determinations

  1. ESRD blocks are a finite resource and should be conserved through the efficient and effective use of ESRD block numbers. The 80 ESRD blocks that cannot be reassigned represent a significant portion of this resource that cannot be effectively used for providing emergency services to Canadians. Thus, the addition of a reclamation process to the Guideline that enables returned or recovered ESRD blocks to be reassigned after a suitable aging period of 180 days can be considered a necessary addition to the Guideline.
  2. Accordingly, the Commission approves the report and version 6.0 of the Guideline.

Policy Directions

  1. In accordance with subparagraph 1(b)(i) of the 2006 Policy Direction,Footnote 1 the Commission considers that approval of the report will advance the policy objectives set out in paragraphs 7(a) and (f) of the Telecommunications Act.Footnote 2
  2. In accordance with the 2019 Policy Direction,Footnote 3 the Commission considers that this decision can promote competition, affordability, and consumer interests by ensuring an adequate supply of specialized telephone numbers to carriers and other telecommunications service providers that support 9-1-1 emergency services systems so that they can continue to provide emergency services to Canadian consumers.

Secretary General

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