Telecom - Secretary General Letter addressed to Kelly T. Walsh (Canadian Numbering Administrator)

Ottawa, 30 October 2023

Our reference: 1011-NOC2023-0092


Kelly T. Walsh
CNA Program Manager
Canadian Numbering Administrator
150 Isabella Street, Suite 605
Ottawa, Ontario
K1S 5H3

Subject: Interim measure requiring the Canadian Numbering Administrator to limit the assignment of Central Office codes to certain levels

On 23 March 2023, the Commission issued Call for comments – Implementing thousand-block pooling, Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2023-92, 23 March 2023, as amended by 2023-92-1, and 2023-92-2, inviting parties and interested persons to comment on the matter of implementing thousand-block pooling (TBP) in Canada.

In interventions as part of the proceeding, some parties suggested that the Canadian Numbering Administrator (CNA) should be cautious when assigning further geographic Central Office (CO) codes to carriers to avoid some Canadian carriers reserving as many codes as possible before an eventual TBP deployment deadline.

In response to requests for information on whether measures should be put in place and on the appropriateness of a Commission direction to the CNA that would limit geographic CO Code assignment to certain levels in the interim, while a permanent solution is implemented, parties expressed differing opinions on whether and what interim measures should be put in place.

The Commission considers that while small and large carriers continue to require geographic CO codes to operate their business, the seriousness of the situation, as described in Notice of Consultation (NoC) 2023-92 and in parties’ submissions, calls for a more cautious approach to the assignment of geographic CO codes until a permanent solution to number exhaust is implemented.

Therefore, the Commission directs, effective immediately, the implementation of an interim measure requiring the CNA to limit the assignment of geographic CO codes to the July 2023 round of Numbering Resource Utilization Forecast (NRUF) on a yearly, per carrier, and per Numbering Plan Area (NPA) complex basis, for all carriers, and 80% of the forecasts for any carrier who has forecasted more than 20 codes for any given year and NPA complex. Under this measure, carriers will still be able to obtain telephone numbers to grow their business as the forecast covers the period from 2023 to 2029. However, if a carrier requests CO codes beyond those levels, it will have to apply to both the CNA and the Commission, justifying why additional resources are required.

As part of assessing any request, the Commission will consider, among other factors, the intended use for the additional CO codes, whether numbering resources other than North American Numbering Plan geographic resources can be used, whether the carrier has unused numbering resources from previous assignments which can be used, and the impact of the request for additional CO codes on number exhaust Canada-wide or in a specific region.

The Commission further directs the CNA to increase its scrutiny of CO code requests including by identifying and escalating to the Commission any larger than normal requests that would accelerate number exhaust for one or more areas of Canada or appear contrary to the spirit of this interim measure. Also, the Commission reminds the CNA that it must ensure and verify that carriers receive only the CO codes that they actually need, consistent with the Central Office Code (NXX) Assignment Guideline.

Yours sincerely,

Original signed by

Marc Morin
Secretary General

c. c.
Bell Canada,
Canadian LNP Consortium Inc.,
Consortium de gestion de la numérotation canadienne inc.,
Independent Telecommunications Providers Association,
Iristel Inc.,
Québecor Média inc.,
Rogers Communications Canada Inc.,
Saskatchewan Telecommunications,
TekSavvy Solutions Inc.,
TELUS Communicatons Inc.,

Date modified: