HARRISBURG – The Public Utility Commission (PUC) today sought comments on two petitions that recommended the PUC adopt an all services distributed overlay for the 814 and 570 NPAs, or area codes, which would create new area codes in the 814 and 570 area code geographic regions.
The Commission voted 5-0 to deny the industry consensus recommendations set forth in the petitions submitted by North American Numbering Plan Administrator, “NeuStar Inc” (Neustar) which is the neutral third party Number Planning Area (NPA) relief planner for Pennsylvania. NeuStar petitioned on behalf of Pennsylvania’s telecommunications industry to adopt plans to add new area codes to the 814 and 570 NPAs to avoid exhaust of those NPAs.
New area codes are needed when existing area codes exhaust their supply of “NXX” codes (which is the second set of three digits in a 10-digit telephone number, NPA-NXX-XXXX). NeuStar claims that the NXX codes or telephone numbers for the 570 and 814 area codes are close to becoming exhausted.
On June 9, 2009, NeuStar submitted a petition related to the 814 area code and submitted an additional petition on July 1, 2009, related to the 570 area code. Both petitions stated that Pennsylvania’s telecommunication industry had reached a consensus to recommend that the PUC implement an all services distributed overlay as the preferred method of relief for the 814 and 570 area codes. This method would assign a new NPA code to the same geographic area as the 814 and 570 area codes.
The petitions were denied on the grounds that the PUC needs time to gather input from consumers, the industry and other interested parties before making the decision to implement the appropriate form of relief for these area codes. The Commission will seek and review comments from all parties before a decision is determined.
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission balances the needs of consumers and utilities to ensure safe and reliable utility service at reasonable rates; protect the public interest; educate consumers to make independent and informed utility choices; further economic development; and foster new technologies and competitive markets in an environmentally sound manner.
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Docket Nos. P-2009-2117193.; P-2009-2112925