Find area of phone number exchange

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During this period, the transition is heavily publicized. After a period of several months, the mandatory dialing phase is introduced, in which 7-digit dialing no longer works. Atlanta was the first U. Depending on the techniques used for area code expansion, the effect on telephone users varies.

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In areas in which overlays were used, this generally avoids the need for converting telephone numbers, so existing directories, business records, letterheads, business cards, advertising, and "speed-dialing" settings can retain the same phone numbers, while the overlay is used for new number allocations. The primary impact on telephone users is the necessity of remembering and dialing or digit numbers when only 7-digit dialing was previously permissible.

Splitting instead of overlaying generally avoids the requirement for mandatory area-code dialing, but at the expense of having to convert a region to the new code. In addition to the requirements of updating records and directories to accommodate the new numbers, for efficient conversion this requires a period of "permissive dialing" in which the new and old codes are both allowed to work.

Also, many splittings involved significant technical issues, especially when the area splittings occurred over boundaries other than phone network divisions. In area code , which had covered the Minneapolis — Saint Paul Twin Cities, was split to create area code for St.

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Paul and the eastern metropolitan area. The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission mandated that the new boundary exactly follow municipal boundaries, which were distinctly different from telephone exchange boundaries, and that all subscribers keep their 7-digit numbers. These two goals were directly at odds with the reason for the split, namely to provide additional phone numbers. More than 40 exchanges had territory that straddled the new boundary. As a result, prefixes were duplicated in both area codes, which counteracted much of the benefit of the splitting, with only of prefixes in area moving entirely to area In less than two years area code again exhausted its supply of phone numbers, and required a three-way split in , creating the new area codes and Again, the split followed political boundaries rather than rate center boundaries, resulting in additional split prefixes; a few numbers moved from to and then to in less than two years.

Recognizing that the proliferation of area codes was largely due to the telecom regulation act and the assignment of numbers in blocks of 10,, the FCC instructed NANPA, by then administered by Neustar , to alleviate the numbering shortage. As a result, number pooling was piloted in as a system for allocating local numbers to carriers in blocks of 1, rather than 10, Because of the then design of the switched telephone network, this was a considerable technical obstacle. Number pooling was implemented with another technical obstacle, local number portability.

The program has been implemented in much of the United States by state regulators.

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A limited number of cities have also implemented rate center consolidation; fewer rate centers resulted in more efficient use of numbers, as carriers would reserve blocks of 1, or 10, numbers in each of multiple rate centers in the same area even if they had relatively few clients in the area. Typically a call within a rate center is local, while a call from one rate center to another is a long-distance call. Together with aggressive reclamation of unused number blocks from telecom providers, number pooling has reduced the need for additional area codes, so that many previously designated area splits and overlays have been postponed indefinitely.

There is no number pooling in Canada. Number allocation remains highly inefficient as even the tiniest village is a rate center and every CLEC is assigned blocks of ten thousand numbers in every place it offers new local service. As a result, dialing seven digits even in remote locations like James Bay is more likely to produce an intercept message " dial the area code " than an actual voice connection. This included Puerto Rico and the U. Virgin Islands. Each has since been assigned one or more distinct numbering plan areas; area code now exclusively serves the Dominican Republic along with area codes and The NANP exhaust analysis estimates that the existing numbering system is sufficient beyond , based on the assumptions that a maximum of NPAs continue to be available, and that on average central office codes are needed per year.

In case of exhaustion, various plans are discussed for expanding the numbering plan. One option is to add the digit 1 or 0 either at the beginning or at the end of the area code, or prefixing it to the seven-digit subscriber number.

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This would require eleven-digit dialing even for local calls between any two NANP numbers. Another proposal introduces the digit 9 into the area code in the format x9xx , so that, for example, San Francisco 's would become Other proposals include reallocating blocks of numbers assigned to smaller long distance carriers or unused reserved services. Of all states or territories, the U. This follows the traditional letter assignments on telephone dials. The structure of the North American Numbering Plan permits implementation of local dial plans in each plan area, depending on requirements.


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When multiple NPA codes serve an area in an overlay arrangement, ten-digit 10D dialing is required. Seven-digit 7D dialing may be permissible in areas with single area codes. The number of digits dialed is unrelated to being a local call or a toll call when there is no toll alerting.

Allowing 7D local dial across an area code boundary, which is uncommon today, requires central office code protection , locally if using toll alerting, across the entire area code otherwise, to avoid assignment of the same seven-digit number on both sides. There are also special codes , such as:. Note : The four-digit numbers are not implemented in some areas. Not all NANP countries use the same codes. For example, the emergency telephone number is not always Trinidad and Tobago and Dominica use , as in the United Kingdom. The country of Barbados uses for police force, for fire , and for ambulance , while Jamaica uses for directory assistance, for police force, and for fire and ambulance services.

Despite its early importance as a share of the worldwide telephone system, few of the NANP's codes, such as , have been adopted outside the system. Determining that requires unnecessary rotation time on rotary dial telephones, the European Union has adopted its own standardized number of , while countries in Asia and the rest of the world use a variety of other two- or three-digit emergency telephone number combinations.

The code is gaining prevalence because of its preprogrammed presence in mobile telephones that conform to the European GSM standard. The European Union and many other countries have chosen the International Telecommunication Union 's 00 as their international access number instead of The toll-free prefix has been widely adopted elsewhere, including as the international toll-free country code.

It is often preceded by a 0 rather than a 1 in many countries where 0 is the trunk prefix. Many dials on modern telephones in use in the NANP service areas maintain the tradition of alphabetic dialing. Usually each pushbutton from digit 2 to 9 also displays three letters, which is standardized in ISO and, in Europe, E.

Historically, the letters Q and Z were omitted, although some modern telephones contain them. SMS-capable devices have all 26 letters. The alphabet is apportioned to the buttons as follows:. No letters are typically mapped to keys 1 and 0 , although some corporate voicemail systems use 1 for Q and Z, and some old telephones assigned the Z to the digit 0.

Originally, this scheme was used as a mnemonic device for telephone number prefixes. When telephone numbers in the United States were standardized in the midth century to seven digits, the first two digits of the exchange prefix were expressed as letters rather than numbers, using the telephone exchange name.

Before World War II , the largest cities used three letters and four or five numbers, while in most cities with customer dialing, phone numbers had only six digits 2L-4N. The prefix was a name, and the first two or three letters, usually shown in capital letters, were dialed. Later, the third letter, where implemented, was replaced by a digit, or an extra digit was added. The adoption of seven-digit local numbers 2L-5N was chosen as the requirement for direct distance dialing and progressively deployed starting the late s.

Similarly, the classic film BUtterfield 8 is set in the East Side of Manhattan between roughly 64th and 86th Streets, where the telephone prefixes include In some works of fiction, phone numbers will begin with "KLondike 5" or KLamath 5 , which translates to , an exchange that is reserved for information numbers in North America. The letter system was phased out, beginning before , although it persisted ten years later in some places. It was included in Bell of Pennsylvania directories until Even today, some businesses still display a 2L-5N number in advertisements, e.

Despite the phasing out of the letter system otherwise, alphabetic phonewords remain as a commercial mnemonic gimmick, particularly for toll-free numbers. In addition to commercial uses, alphabetic dialing has occasionally influenced the choice of regional area codes in the United States. For example, when area East Tennessee was split in , the region surrounding Knoxville was assigned area code , chosen to represent the word VOL Volunteers , the nickname of Tennessee The Volunteer State , as well as athletic teams at the University of Tennessee.

Several Caribbean area codes were chosen as an alphabetic abbreviation of the country name, which are indicated in the table of NANP regions. The North American Numbering Plan does not set aside special non-geographic area codes exclusively for cellular phones. Only one regional exception exists in area code in Canada.

In many other national numbering plans outside the NANP, mobile services are assigned separate prefixes. Cell phone numbers in the NANP are allocated within each area code from special central office prefixes and calls to them are billed at the same rate as any other call.

Consequently, the caller pays pricing model adopted in other countries, in which calls to cellular phones are charged at a higher nationwide rate, but incoming mobile calls are not charged to the mobile user, could not be implemented. Instead, North American cellular telephone subscribers are also generally charged for receiving calls subscriber pays.

This has discouraged mobile users from publishing their telephone number. However, price competition among carriers has reduced the average price per call minute for contract customers for both inbound and outbound calls, which compare favorably to those in caller-pays countries. Industry observers have attributed the relatively low mobile phone penetration rate in the United States, compared to that of Europe, to the subscriber-pays model. Callers from outside the local-calling region of the assigned number, however, pay for a long-distance call, although domestic long-distance rates are generally lower than the rates in caller-pays systems.

Conversely, an advantage of caller-pays is the relative absence of telemarketing and nuisance calls to mobile numbers. The integrated numbering plan also enables local number portability between fixed and wireless services within a region, allowing users to switch to mobile service while keeping their telephone number. The initial plan for area code overlays did allow for providing separate area codes for use by mobile devices, although these were still assigned to a specific geographical area, and were charged at the same rate as other area codes.

Initially, the area code for New York City was specifically assigned for this purpose within the boroughs; however, a Federal court overturned the practice and the use of an area code for a specific telephony purpose. The experience of Hurricane Katrina and similar events revealed a possible disadvantage of the methods employed in the geographic assignment of cellular numbers.

Many mobile phone users could not be reached, even when they were far from the stricken areas, because the routing of calls to their phones depended on equipment in the affected area.

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They could make calls but not receive them. The use of geographic numbers may also lead to tromboning ; one can take a handset with a Vancouver number into St. John's and outbound calls to St. John's numbers while in that city will be local, but incoming calls must make the cross-country trip to Vancouver and back. Calls between different countries and territories of the NANP are not typically charged at domestic rates.

For example, most long-distance plans may charge a California subscriber a higher rate for a call to British Columbia than for a call to New York, even though both destinations are within the NANP. Similarly, calls from Bermuda to U. This is because many of the island nations implemented a plan of subsidizing the cost of local phone services by directly charging higher pricing levies on international long-distance services. Because of these higher fees, scams had taken advantage of customers' unfamiliarity with pricing structure to call the legacy regional area code Some scams lured customers from the United States and Canada into placing expensive calls to the Caribbean , by representing area code as a regular domestic, low-cost, or toll-free call.

The split of which formerly covered all of the Caribbean NANP points into multiple new area codes created many new, unfamiliar prefixes which could be mistaken for U. These scams are on the decline, with many of the Cable and Wireless service monopolies being opened up to competition, hence bringing rates down.

Additionally, many Caribbean territories have implemented local government agencies to regulate telecommunications rates of providers. The Telecommunications Act of 47 U. The toll-free telephone numbers with NPAs , , , , , and have been portable through the RespOrg system since American television programs and films often use the central office code , or KL amath 5 and KL ondike 5 in older movies and shows, for fictitious telephone numbers , to prevent disturbing actual telephone subscribers if anyone is tempted to dial a telephone number seen or referred to on screen.

Occasionally, valid telephone numbers are used in contexts such as songs with varying intents and consequences. Not all numbers beginning with are fictional. For example, is the standard number for directory assistance. Only through are reserved for fictional use. Where used, these are often routed to information services; Canadian telephone companies briefly promoted as a pay-per-use "name that number" reverse lookup in the mids. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Nanpa disambiguation.

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This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Main article: North American Numbering Plan expansion. Retrieved Bell System Technical Journal. Accessed Leslie Downing of Englewood, N. The mayors made history as they chatted in the first customer-dialed long-distance call, one that introduced area codes. The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on North American Numbering Plan Administration. Mental Floss. Retrieved February 1,