Area Codes typically Asked Questions

Who has actually authority over area codes?

The Federal interactions Commission (FCC) has actually jurisdiction over telephone number administration in the unified States. Area codes execute not cross state boundaries, so each state has actually the authority to decision when and also in what type to introduce brand-new area codes. In, this government rests with the public Utility board of directors (

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that decides when a new area password is needed?

The north American number is numbered Plan management (NANPA), currently administered by Neustar, studies historical growth, renders projections for future growth and also notifies the as soon as a brand-new area password is needed. The impacted area password is defined as being near "exhaust."

NANPA administers the area code device designed in the 1940s through AT&T and Bell Laboratories to route long distance calls automatically. In 1947 got its first four area codes: 214, 512, 713 and 915.

NANPA is also the source of every telephone numbers. It assigns the prefixes within any type of area code to a telecommunications company.

What wake up after NANPA notifies the a new area password is needed?

NANPA hold a series of meetings with representatives the the telecommunications industry, such together local and also long distance companies and also related industries, such as emergency 911 systems, burglary alarms systems and portable call providers; and affected local communities. The representatives take into consideration a variety of options and comments, then forward a recommendation to the During an open meeting, the have the right to accept, refuse or modify the NANPA recommendation.

deserve to I discuss a proposed new area code?

Yes, the welcomes your comments. The will usually conduct one or an ext public meetings in the an ar served by the area code nearing "exhaust" to explain available options and ask for public comment. Girlfriend can additionally send your composed comments directly to the

that decides what the brand-new area code will be?

NANPA assigns brand-new area codes for the whole nation. Shortly after receiving the decision on how a new area code will certainly be added, NANPA determines the brand-new area code and informs the, i m sorry announces it to the public.

However, return area codes might only appear to be only an inconvenience, lock are likewise an indicator the positive economic growth.

Why are brand-new area codes needed?

Cell phones, fax machines, modems, alarm systems and also pagers are amongst the renowned communications alternatives increasing the need for phone numbers. An additional culprit is the inefficient method telephone service providers use to assign phone numbers. The system collection up by the telecommunications sector calls for number assignments in blocks of 10,000. This made sense as soon as telephone business was a monopoly, however in today’s competitive setting the 10,000 block-assignment system has actually taken thousands of thousands the numbers the end of circulation permanently.

Under the system, a script for her city might go prefer this. NANPA receives requests because that one or more blocks of number from your present company, 2 competitors, four wireless companies, and three burglary alarm companies. Every requests a block of number in one month. This request has just bring away 100,000 numbers out of circulation, and also some companies have actually no immediate need and also may never need that plenty of numbers. Multiply together requests by the variety of competing telecommunications companies and the variety of population centers served by your area code and you deserve to see why this has end up being a problem.

How plenty of numbers room in an area code?

Normal phone numbers are established as NXX-XXXX (ie: 555-1234). N plot as any digit 2-9 and X is any type of digit 0-9. Every area code has 792 prefixes or "NXX" codes. Each NXX has 10,000 possible numbers. Therefore, theoretically, there room 7,920,000 phone call numbers per area code. In reality, since carriers need test numbers and other codes, not all of the call numbers room utilized.

What is the law to maintain numbers?

The was amongst the first state regulatory bodies in the country to encourage rate center consolidation. Price centers space the specific geographic areas used for rating and also billing long distance calls, and every phone company serving a rate center needs an personally assigned phone call prefix for its customers. In 1997 in ~ the inquiry of the, Southwestern Bell consolidated price centers in Austin, Dallas, fort Worth, Houston and also San Antonio, freeing thousands of numbers.

In November, 2000 the started reclaiming numbers not in service under authority granted by the FCC. Reclamation works this way. After NANPA assigns a prefix to a telecommunications company, that prefix have to be in usage within six months. If not, the can either bespeak the company to return the prefix and its number to NANPA or the can grant the company a brief extension to carry the numbers in service. Thousands of numbers have already been saved in through number reclamation.

Number pooling, whereby NANPA assigns numbers to a telecommunications company in blocks of 1,000 quite than the conventional 10,000, is an additional conservation method. This an approach is being utilized in designated metropolitan locations in the state and is additionally saving numbers.

Sequential number assigning has been one more helpful conservation tool. This kind of assignment requires carriers to issue numbers in sequential order, thus preserving block in one thousands number increments for usage in number pooling.

What about local number portability? would certainly that help?

No. Number Portability doe not help in conserving the numbers, a porting number offers two telephone number to route the speak to to the subscriber; one native the initial switch and also the other from the switch that serves the customer. Number portability is right now an choice only as soon as you adjust companies and also is offered to encourage competition. Couple of customers would likely switch neighborhood companies if each switch forced a number change.

Some countries use eight-digit call numbers. Would certainly this cut down top top the require for brand-new area password in by offering much more phone number combinations?

Although eight digit phone numbers could solve the number shortage eventually, they would call for revamping the country telephone network. This form of adjust would be expensive to implement and the expense would inevitably it is in passed on to customers.

If moving phones and also pagers are component of the problem, why not offer wireless technology its very own area code? client proposed this solution when brand-new area password were an initial needed in Dallas and Houston. The preferred the idea, however the FCC rubbish it as anti-competitive. However, in in march 2002, the FCC reversed chin noting the circumstances have actually changed; therefore, the FCC is currently considering Service details Overlays top top a case-by-case basis and the is reviewing the opportunity of utilizing them.

What is the difference between an "overlay" and also a "geographic split"? Geographic Split

geographic region covered through the area code is divided. One an ar keeps the existing area code. The other region or areas are assigned brand-new area codes.


The area code gives a geographical identity, and you store seven-digit dialing for neighborhood calls.


It take away time come alert friends and businesses the the brand-new area code, and it expenses money come reprint addresses on checks, mailing labels, company supplies and advertising.


An overlay places a new area code over the same geographic an ar or over a part of that region in what is dubbed a concentrated overlay. This creates 2 or more area password in the exact same region. Brand-new customers are assigned the new code, while existing customers keep their existing code.


You store your area code, and you execute not have to change advertising and also other published items.


You have to dial 10 digits to place a local call, and also a single residence or business could have actually two different area password for different lines.

go an area code readjust affect lengthy distance rates?

Absolutely not. Calls that were local before the change will remain local calls. This is true also if friend have an extensive calling scope that is split by one area code. Friend may need to dial 10 digits to reach certain cities in your regional calling scope, however it is quiet a local call.

With one overlay, you must remember come dial the area code together with your original seven-digit number, but you are charged together you were prior to the overlay. You room still do a local call.

walk a new area code influence my neighborhood phone bill?

No, your phone bill remains the same.

room 9-1-1 phone call affected?

No, the device serving you will certainly be reprogrammed. Girlfriend still dial just 9-1-1.

How deserve to I cope through all these new area codes?

Make transforms in your personal and business attend to books for anyone in an affected area. If you have actually a statewide data base, upgrade it as soon as the new area code have the right to be used, quite than waiting until it must be used. Girlfriend should additionally reprogram numbers speed dialed come a brand-new area code.

Who can I call if i have more questions around a brand-new area code?

Call your regional phone company. If your questions are no answered, speak to the

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Cities and also prefixes for each area code have been provided by the north American numbering Plan administration (NANPA), which oversees the area password number assignment system. This information will adjust as new prefixes are added or returned.

Prefix details will be updated periodically from the NANPA database that prefixes in use in each area code. Every prefixes provided on the Area Codes site reflect NANPA numbering data through June, 2009. Since of the way telephone data is assembled, some cities might not it is in on the list. If girlfriend feel any type of city is not provided or is noted incorrectly, please send the city, prefix, and also area password to areacode