28 Years of the Digest ... founded August 21, 1981

Classified Ads
TD Extra News

Add this Digest to your personal   or  


The Telecom Digest for April 11, 2010
Volume 29 : Issue 100 : "text" Format

Messages in this Issue:
 Toll-Free 855 Coming Soon, to Join Toll-Free 800, 888, 877, 866 Area Codes   (Mark J. Cuccia)

====== 28 years of TELECOM Digest -- Founded August 21, 1981 ====== Telecom and VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) Digest for the Internet. All contents here are copyrighted by Patrick Townson and the individual writers/correspondents. Articles may be used in other journals or newsgroups, provided the writer's name and the Digest are included in the fair use quote. By using -any name or email address- included herein for -any- reason other than responding to an article herein, you agree to pay a hundred dollars to the recipients of the email. =========================== Addresses herein are not to be added to any mailing list, nor to be sold or given away without explicit written consent. Chain letters, viruses, porn, spam, and miscellaneous junk are definitely unwelcome. We must fight spam for the same reason we fight crime: not because we are naive enough to believe that we will ever stamp it out, but because we do not want the kind of world that results when no one stands against crime. Geoffrey Welsh =========================== See the bottom of this issue for subscription and archive details and the name of our lawyer, and other stuff of interest.
Date: Sat, 10 Apr 2010 20:44:55 -0700 (PDT) From: "Mark J. Cuccia" <markjcuccia@yahoo.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Toll-Free 855 Coming Soon, to Join Toll-Free 800, 888, 877, 866 Area Codes Message-ID: <265590.60810.qm@web31106.mail.mud.yahoo.com> On Friday night, 09-April-2010, NeuStar-NANPA issued its 1Q-2010 Newsletter, uploading to the NANPA website: http://www.nanpa.com/pdf/newsletters/NANPA_1Q10.pdf On page 5 of the six-page newsletter, in the "News Brief" section, there is the following blurb (fourth paragraph): "DSMI, the FCC's designated Toll Free Administrator, has notified the FCC of the projected exhaust of current toll free numbers and requested approval to release the 855 NPA code. Timeframe for availability of 855 numbers is no later than 4Q-2011." SO... it looks like after over ten years now, there could be some new toll-free numbers of the 855-nxx-xxxx format! The original AT&T/Bell System Inward-WATS toll-free 800 was introduced in the US over the 1966/67 time-frame. Alabama was the first state with intra-state "only" 800 service in 1966, and then during Spring 1967, inter-state nationwide (48-states/DC only) 800 toll-free service was introduced. I don't know when the other 47 states began their own intra-state "only" 800 service though. 800 Toll-Free (Inward-WATS) was introduced in Canada during 1969/70. There were dedicated 800-NNX codes for intra-Canada use, which had bands that were single-province to multi-provide to Canada-wide. However, some provinces paralleled the US practice of using 800-NN2 codes for intra-province "only" 800 numbers, just like intra-state "only" 800 service in the US also used the 800-NN2 codes. But Canada's 800 and the US' 800 toll-free during the 1970s and early 1980s were NOT "interconnected". If a Canadian customer wanted a toll-free 800 number to be dialable from the US, they had to get a distinct "US-based" 800 number that would forward to Canada; and vice-versa, if a US customer wanted a toll-free 800 number to be dialable from Canada, they had to get a distinct "Canadian-based" 800 number that would forward to the US. And until the early 1980s, inter-state 800 in the US (and until the mid/late 1980s, multi-province/Canada-wide 800 in Canada) had geographic based distinct 800-NNX codes for terminating at specific destination NPAs! And the line-numbers were assigned such that specific thousands, and sometimes even hundreds, indicated the particular purchased "bands" that were able to call that toll-free 800 number from various parts of the US (or Canada for Canadian-based 800). Between 1977 and 1979, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Alaska, and the US Virgin Islands were added to toll-free 800 INWATS, where they could be purchased as originating locations for US-based 800 numbers, and they also could have intra-state/territory 800, as well as 800 numbers which could be called from the (mainland) US... 800-544 for inter-state toll-free terminating in 907 Alaska 800-367 for inter-state toll-free terminating in 808 Hawaii 800-468 for mainland US toll-free destined for PR part of (at the time) 809 800-524 for mainland US toll-free destined for (US)VI part of (at time) 809 Around 1982, AT&T-LL introduced a toll-free number database and used more CCIS signaling to where US-based 800 could be managed where there was no longer any geography associated with such (US) 800-NNX-xxxx based numbers. This was geographic portability, but all customers were those of AT&T-LL and/or the local telco (at the time all ILECs). Telecom-Canada introduced such geographic portability within Canada, and among the Canadian ILECs/etc. in the mid-to-late 1980s, although AT&T and Telecom-Canada had already begun a US/Canada co-operative use of their own legacy 800-NNX codes, i.e., 800-465 had traditionally been associated with 807/ON (western Ontario) as a destination for Canadian originated 800 calls, but Bell Canada/Telecom-Canada and AT&T-LL were now able to work it out such that 800-465-4329 was assigned to Holiday Inns in the US (call 1-800-HOLIDAY). The 800-465-4329 number was still not dialable from Canada at this time, but it would be flagged by Bell Canada as not assignable, since it was given up for AT&T-LL to assign to a US customer for (still at this time) US (only) use. In 1984, AT&T-LL and Telecom-Canada finally began "cross-border" toll-free 800 services, where the same 800 number could be used for customers in either country who wanted originating calling capability from all or part of both countries. During 1985/86, the US Federal Government, Bellcore, and the telcos/IXCs, as part of the evolving post-divestiture environment, came to an agreement that 800 toll-free service would eventually become competitive, AND fully portable among carriers. Competitive toll-free would begin at this time, but full "carrier portability" would not be required immediately. Instead, Bellcore-NANPA would assign previously unassigned 800-NXX codes to individual new-entrant IXCs (and LECs) who requested them. Some 181 legacy 800-NNX codes for the US would be retained by AT&T-LL, and some 18 or 19 legacy 800-NNX codes for Canada would continue to be associated with "Telecom-Canada". Bellcore would continue to assign or administer the line-numbers on 800-555 (directory and other special functions) and 800-855 (for TDD/TTY telco-provided services). The 181 AT&T-LL 800-NNX codes, the 18 (later 19) Telecom-Canada 800-NNX codes, and the two which Bellcore maintained (800-555, 800-855) were from the "old" pre-divestiture AT&T/Telecom-Canada "pool" for 800 inward-WATS for both the US and Canada, intra- and inter- state/province services, a total of just over 200 800-NNX codes out of the now 792 total 800-NXX code "pool". It was understood that no carrier would actually "own" each assigned 800-NXX code, but that they would have line-number assignment use of them for use on their own networks. Within each network/carrier/800-NXX code, there would be _geographic_ portability, but not necessarily carrier portability ... at least not at this time. Some new-entrant competitive IXCs wanted the US Federal Government to order AT&T-LL to abandon its 800 database routing service, turning it over to either government management, or to BOC/LEC management, where it could immediately become "carrier competitive", on an "as is now" basis. But the federal courts rejected this, saying that the LECs would ultimately establish their OWN databases in each LATA/etc., along with emerging SS7 signaling technology to replace pre-divestiture CCIS (and earlier MF/SF) signaling. It was eventually decided that full carrier portability with BOC/LEC databases and SS7 local/intra-LATA signaling capability would be in place effective Spring 1992. However, a few months prior to that date, the legacy telcos and the FCC decided that things were still a bit premature and thus postponed the full carrier portability using BOC/LEC databases and intra-LATA/local SS7 technology for another year, May 1993. Things were most certainly fast-tracked now. Lockheed-Martin was chosen as the NASC (Number Assignment Service Center) for fully portable 800-NXX-xxxx ten-digit number assignment. Bellcore-NANPA would no longer need to (temporarily) assign or "associate" individual 800-NXX codes to specific service providers (both LECs and IXCs). The 800-250 code was reserved (at least the 1,500 line-numbers -0000 thru -1499 on 800-250) for carrier "testing" purposes in a fully competitive-portable environment. Each carrier would be assigned one or more individual 800-250-xxxx numbers, or blocks of consecutive 800-250-xxxx numbers (with the restriction to the range of 0000 to 1499) so that one could dial a specific assigned number and see if they could reach the terminating assigned carrier's verification recording for testing. The use of 8yy-250-0000 thru -1499 has been retained as new 8yy toll-free area codes has come about, usually with the same assignments of line-numbers/ranges to the same service providers. Canada was not yet going to join-in with fully carrier-portable 800 service. There was now SOME degree of competition in Canada among IXCs (Unitel-later-AT&T-Canada-now-Allstream was the first real competitive IXC, for example), and they provided competitive 800 service on their own "dedicated" 800-NXX codes, similar to the way US-based service providers were doing so from 1986 through Spring 1993. But Canada decided that they would "join-in" with the US fully portable 800 environment, to become effective as of Spring 1994. But the pool of 800-NXX codes was running out of codes even in a fully portable environment! Bellcore-NANPA, LM's NASC, and the industry agreed that 800-555 would be opened up for portable "regular" 800 numbers (with existing 800-555-1212 and other special previously assigned 800-555-xxxx numbers "grandfathered), and also opened up seven of the eight 800-N11 codes for assignment to regular line-numbers. Since 800 has to be dialed on a full ten-digit basis, there "should" be "no" confusion with existing three-digit N11 special local service codes. 800-911 is NOT assigned AT ALL, but the others, 800-211 thru 800-811 are assigned. 800-855 was/is also now portable among carriers, i.e., the –xxxx line-numbers are part of the database, but assignment is still restricted to telco-provided TTY/TDD services for the hearing impaired using text/teletype-based phones. Thus, the 800-NXX pool was now increased to 799 possible codes (out of eight hundred possible 800-NXX codes) altogether. But this was still not going to be enough for the immediate future. It was suggested by some telco industry members in 1994/95 to open up the two-hundred 800-0xx/1xx codes, since toll-free 800 has to be dialed on a full ten-digit basis, but this was going to be very problematic with all kinds of customer-premises equipment (toll-restrictors, PBXes, etc) and telco network switches, those which were "hard-wired/coded" to reject customer dialing of 0XX/1XX codes in the office-code part of a ten-digit number. It was also thought that there might be way too many misdials of customers forgetting to first dial (1)-800, since ten-digit dialing for ALL calls was NOT yet as commonplace. When ten-digit local dialing is completely in place US/Canada-wide, then NPA+0XX/1XX codes MIGHT become available in all area codes, but not in the mid-1990s and still not yet today. It was announced in Spring 1995 (I remember that I first heard about it on one of the late Paul Harvey's ABC Radio newscasts) that in Spring 1996, there would be additional toll-free numbers with '888' as the new toll-free area code. (Today, I would read about such things on NANPA's website, or the ATIS website, or Telcordia-TRA's website, etc., but back in 1995, even though the Internet was now "established" for public/commercial use, it was still relatively "new" as such, thus "regular" media such as regular radio or TV news services was how I first heard about such things! Paul Harvey was also where I first heard that southeast Texas was having its 713/409 area code split of early 1983!) So, 888 was added in Spring 1996. You'd think that this would allow uninterrupted or such assignment of new toll-free numbers for at least 10-20 years! Afterall, 800 was first introduced in 1966/67, and it wasn't until 30 years later, Spring 1996, when 888 was implemented. But oh, no, there was all kinds of competitive/regulatory feuding and such, as to whether or not a company with an 800 number had a right to have the seven-digit part duplicated under 888, etc. The FCC was constantly involved with toll-free regulatory issues and such at that time. And it looked like 888 was going to exhaust rather early. The industry implemented special/toll-free area code 877 for further toll numbers in Spring 1998. In both 888 and 877 (and future 866, etc), the 250-xxxx line-numbers for testing purposes as mentioned above, were duplicated for testing under these new toll-free special area codes. The telco industry also determined that the assignment of codes for future toll-free (as needed) would be 877, 866, 855, 844, 833, 822. And then other 88x codes would be assigned (888 already having been assigned), but I don't know the "order" of implementation though (889 then 887, 886, ..., 881, 880? Or 880, 881, ..., 887, 889?). As 2000 was approaching, it looked like 877 was "filling up fast", and the telco industry and FCC decided that in Spring 2000, BOTH 866 AND 855 would be simultaneously implemented. But others in the telco industry thought that this was "going too fast". There was a moratorium placed, and it was decided that LATE Spring 2000 would have 866, and then a month later 855, implemented. But even this was postponed. 866 was implemented in November 2000, with 855 to be implemented "when needed at some future TO BE DETERMINED date". BTW, DSMI is an acronym mentioned in the 1Q/2010 NeuStar-NANPA Newsletter. This stands for Database Services Management Inc. My understanding is that DSMI is a subsidiary of Bellcore-now-Telcordia, and is the successor to what was Lockheed-Martin's NASC, the toll-free Number Assignment Service Center. Lockheed was becoming involved with telecom number/code assignment during the 1990s, but then Lockheed was going to buy some kind of aircraft subsidiary involving communications satellites, and that was thought to be a conflict of interest with LM's "neutral" involvement with telecom code and numbering assignments. LM spun-out NANPA to Warburg-Pincus in 2000 (now known as NeuStar), and I think that their toll-free NASC was spun-out to (at the time) Bellcore, now Telcordia, to become part of the DSMI subsidiary or division or operation of Bellcore/Telcordia. Well, it looks like late 2011 will be the time when 855 will need to be implemented in the North American telephone network for further toll-free numbers! It isn't unexpected.... 855 "should" be treated as a valid (special) NPA code in "most" local and toll switches, ILEC, CLEC, wireless, IXC, independent telco, etc. throughout the North American Network, but you never know if "everyone" is yet "on board". The 8yy-250-xxxx testing line-number assignment scheme should still be "in place", but after ten years, there are all kinds of mergers in telcos/IXCs, and also sell-offs/spin-offs (VeriZon's legacy BOC NET&T in ME/NH/VT now part of FairPoint; more legacy GTE/Contel sold off in 2000 and 2002, and now the VAST bulk of legacy GTE/Contel still held by VeriZon potentially to be sold to Frontier LEC along with legacy BOC C&P-West Virginia as well, and possibly other sell-offs/spin-offs), so I wonder how much of the telco industry is going to be "ready" to SMOOTHLY implement new 855 toll-free numbers, as well as how the 800-250-0000 thru -1499 line-number assignments still applies! SO... it will be interesting to see over the next year and a half, how all of this will "play out". It isn't something that hasn't been done before, but it was over ten years since it was last applied, and there have been some changes in ownership and management in the telco industry since then! More details to be posted as they are known! BTW, if it took ten-plus years between 866 and 855, I wonder how long it might take from before 844 will be opened up after 855 actually does get opened up as a toll-free area code for additional toll-free numbering? Mark J. Cuccia markjcuccia at yahoo dot com Lafayette LA, formerly of New Orleans LA pre-Katrina
TELECOM Digest is an electronic journal devoted mostly to telecom- munications topics. It is circulated anywhere there is email, in addition to Usenet, where it appears as the moderated newsgroup 'comp.dcom.telecom'. TELECOM Digest is a not-for-profit, mostly non-commercial educational service offered to the Internet by Bill Horne. All the contents of the Digest are compilation-copyrighted. You may reprint articles in some other media on an occasional basis, but please attribute my work and that of the original author. The Telecom Digest is moderated by Bill Horne. Contact information: Bill Horne Telecom Digest 43 Deerfield Road Sharon MA 02067-2301 781-784-7287 bill at horne dot net Subscribe: telecom-request@telecom-digest.org?body=subscribe telecom Unsubscribe: telecom-request@telecom-digest.org?body=unsubscribe telecom This Digest is the oldest continuing e-journal about telecomm- unications on the Internet, having been founded in August, 1981 and published continuously since then. Our archives are available for your review/research. We believe we are the oldest e-zine/mailing list on the internet in any category! URL information: http://telecom-digest.org Copyright (C) 2009 TELECOM Digest. All rights reserved. Our attorney is Bill Levant, of Blue Bell, PA. --------------------------------------------------------------- Finally, the Digest is funded by gifts from generous readers such as yourself who provide funding in amounts deemed appropriate. Your help is important and appreciated. A suggested donation of fifty dollars per year per reader is considered appropriate. See our address above. Please make at least a single donation to cover the cost of processing your name to the mailing list. All opinions expressed herein are deemed to be those of the author. Any organizations listed are for identification purposes only and messages should not be considered any official expression by the organization.
End of The Telecom Digest (1 messages)

Return to Archives ** Older Issues