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News Release
Number Pooling to Extend Life of 541 Area Code
June 29, 2001 (2001-27) (UM 953)
Contacts: Roy Hemmingway, Chairman, 503 378-6611; Roger Hamilton, Commissioner, 503 378-6611; Joan H. Smith, Commissioner, 503 378-6611; Bob Valdez, Public Information Officer, 503 378-8962
Salem, OR –The Oregon Public Utility Commission has decided to activate number pooling measures in qualified areas of 541 area code on July 1, 2001, and delay the 503/971 implementation date from October 1, 2001, to no later than the end of the year.
The latest projection by the North American Number Planning Administrator (NANPA) shows the 541 area code will exhaust its numbers by the third quarter in 2003. However, Commission staff is confident the new measures will extend the exhaust date well beyond 2003.
The first test of number pooling will be in larger communities now being served by more than one telecommunications carrier such as Eugene, Roseburg, Medford, and Corvallis.
The Commission noted the industry has stepped up to the plate in this effort. Companies currently holding 10,000 number blocks have identified 400,000 numbers that can be used by other carriers in cities projected for growth in the 541 area code.
Telephone companies, with the exception of wireless providers, will receive numbers in blocks of 1,000 numbers, not the 10,000 blocks of numbers used in the old allocation method. This will allow available numbers to be used more efficiently.
The 1,000 block number pooling assignment will be all but invisible to customers.
In addition, PUC staff projects, while there will still be a demand for new telephone numbers, it should be at a much lower rate.
Work on number pooling in the 503/971 area codes will commence in July with the objective of implementing number pooling no later than the end of the year.
The NANPA projected exhaust date in the 503/971 area codes is now the second quarter in 2008, an increase of 7 months from the projection made a year ago.
Preliminary data on the amount of numbers in the 503 area code that can be freed up for other carriers should be available in late August.
The Commission enacted the 971 overlay for most of the 503 area code October 1, 2000.
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