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Press Release

PUC Approves Area Code Relief Plan for 215/267, Plans to Schedule Consumer-Education Forums

Published on 11/9/2016

Filed under: Telecommunications

HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today voted to approve a petition by the North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA), Neustar Inc. (Neustar) approving its plan to implement an all-services distributed overlay for the geographic area covered by the 215/267 area code, which will create a new area code for the service area. 

The Commission policy is to ensure that numbering resources are made available on an equitable, efficient and timely basis in Pennsylvania while ensuring that the impact of proliferating new area codes on consumers is as minimal as possible.

Because of the existing overlay in the 215/267 area code, only one method of area code relief, the overlay, has been recommended as appropriate by Neustar. An overlay plan means that once the existing telephone numbers in the 215/267 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 this instance, customers residing in the 215/267 geographic region already use 10-digit dialing for local and long distance calls. Therefore, the overlay is the least disruptive method of resolving the 215/267 area code exhaust issue, and the Commission will not seek comments on any alternatives to the recommended relief.

As part of the approval, Commission staff will hold public information sessions in the affected area to ensure the public is aware that a new area code will be implemented in their calling area. The public will have an opportunity to get answers to any questions they may have at these events, which will be scheduled closer to the actual implementation date for the new overlay area code and will be announced at a future date.

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 215/267 area code will be exhausted in the second quarter of 2018.

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission balances the needs of consumers and utilities; ensures safe and reliable utility service at reasonable rates; protects the public interest; educates consumers to make independent and informed utility choices; furthers economic development; and fosters new technologies and competitive markets in an environmentally sound manner.

For recent news releases and video of select Commission proceedings or more information about the PUC, visit our website at Follow the PUC on Twitter – @PA_PUC for all things utility.  “Like” Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission on Facebook for easy access to information on utility issues.

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Docket No. P-2016-2560129





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