HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today established four hearings to receive public input on proposals designed to ensure adequate numbering resources in the 570 area code.
The Commission voted 5-0 to schedule the hearings to receive public comment in February 2010. The 570 area code is projected to run out of telephone numbers in the third quarter of 2011. 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).
Administrative Law Judge Ember S. Jandebeur will conduct the hearings at:
6 p.m., Feb. 1, 2010
880 Kidder St.
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702
6 p.m. Feb. 2, 2010
Jim Thorpe Memorial Hall
101 East Tenth Street
Jim Thorpe, PA 18229
6 p.m. Feb. 3, 2010
PA College of Technology
Thompson Professional Development Center
Mountain Laurel Room
Williamsport, PA 17701
6 p.m. Feb. 5, 2010
Room B3 Scranton State Office Building
(Take elevator to basement and room is straight ahead)
100 Lackawanna Avenue
Scranton, PA 18503
The North American Numbering Plan Administrator, “NeuStar Inc” (Neustar), which is the neutral third party Number Planning Area (NPA) relief planner for Pennsylvania, petitioned the PUC on behalf of Pennsylvania’s telecommunications industry to institute an “overlay” plan. An overlay plan means that once the existing telephone numbers in the 570 area code are exhausted, new telephone services in that geographic region would be assigned telephone numbers out of the new area code. Ten-digit local dialing would then apply to all telephone calls.
In view of the well-documented disruption to customers caused by changes in their area code, the Commission voted on July 23, 2009, to seek comments from consumers, the industry and other interested parties involved regarding the final area code decision.
Four relief alternatives are possible for ensuring adequate number resources. The alternatives include an overlay of a new area code and various geographic splits of the existing area code running east to west, north to south or northeast to southeast. More specifics on the plan can be found on the PUC’s website – PUC Order; Appendix.
Members of the public are welcome to attend the hearings and provide comments. Customer testimony will become part of the record on which the PUC will issue its final decision. The PUC and state Office of Consumer Advocate offer tips on how to participate. They include:
· Prepare what you are going to say beforehand. Even though it is not required, you may want to write out your statement, which can be read.
· Bring copies. If you have a written statement you would like to give to the judge as evidence, please bring two copies for the court reporter and several copies for the other participants.
· Plan to be questioned. Parties in the case may want to ask you a question to clarify something you said.
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.
For recent news releases, audio of select Commission proceedings or more information about the PUC, visit our website at www.puc.state.pa.us.
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Docket No. P-2009-2117193