IURC TO RECLAIM UNUSED NUMBERS
Today the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission took steps to reclaim large blocks of assigned phone numbers in the State of Indiana which have not been activated and/or are not being used to provide telecommunications services. The Commissioners believe the reclamation procedures will help alleviate the numbering problem facing the state, as the Commission examines the depletion of available numbers in various area code regions.
In Order No. 41535 the IURC is utilizing the authority it was given by the Federal Communications Commission to recover the unused numbers. In addition the Commission is requesting proof from carriers that prefix codes have been activated or the assignment of numbers is underway.
The North American Numbering Plan Administrator will continue to play an active role in monitoring compliance with this order. The affected carriers will be notified that they have 6-months to activate the prefix, or return it for use by other carriers.
Because of the congestion in the 219-area code, the recovery of numbers will begin there. An estimated 30,000 numbers in northern Indiana may be obtained through this process. In central and southern Indiana this effort will free up approximately 190,000 numbers.
Demand from new home construction, businesses and the need for more lines to accommodate new technology is driving the number crunch.
The Commissioners continue to study the bigger issue in the 219 area code, which covers the northern third of Indiana. It's estimated that even with number rationing in that area, all of the available numbers will be exhausted by early 2003. The options under consideration include a number overlay for the entire 219 region, or splitting the 219-service area and creating a new area code.~30~