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Order CRTC 2001-840

Ottawa, 22 November 2001

CRTC confirms 10-digit dialing plan for area codes 905 and 289

Reference: 8698-C12-07/00


In August 2000, the Commission directed the addition of area code 289 in the 905 area code region. In doing so, it directed that all carriers put in place a 10-digit dialing plan for all local calls. Since the introduction of the new area code in June 2001, however, Bell Canada customers in adjacent area codes are still using seven digits to make local calls to numbers in the 905/289 area code, while the customers of all other carriers make these calls using 10 digits.

In this order, the Commission directs Bell Canada to take the necessary steps to put in place the 10-digit local dialing plan as directed in August 2000.



On 15 August 2000, in Order CRTC 2000-772, New area code overlay to be introduced in 905 region, the Commission directed the addition of new area code 289 on 7 June 2001 using the distributed overlay method. In this order, the Commission stated that this solution will "require the implementation of 10-digit dialing for all local calls".


Following the addition of new area code 289, certain customers could still use only seven digits to make local calls from adjacent exchanges in area code 519 to 905/289.


The ad hoc committee of the CRTC Interconnection Steering Committee (CISC) for area code 905 relief planning confirmed that Bell Canada had maintained seven-digit local dialing from adjacent area codes 519, 613 and 705 to area codes 905 and 289. All other carriers had complied with Order 2000-772 by implementing complete 10-digit local dialing, both within 905/289, and to and from adjacent area codes.


The CISC ad hoc committee tried to reach an agreement on a solution to the inconsistent dialing approach. In committee meetings, Bell Canada argued that the order was not sufficiently clear. Bell Canada interpreted the phrase "10-digit dialing on all local calls" to mean only calls placed from a number in area code 905 to points within 905 and to adjacent exchanges, but excluding calls placed to a number in 905 from an adjacent area code.


The ad hoc committee could not reach a consensus and submitted a report to CISC that noted the positions of all parties during committee meetings. On 31 August 2001, CISC approved the report and submitted it to the Commission for a determination.

Clarity of the Commission’s order


In Order 2000-772, the Commission stated that the distributed overlay:

…would apply a new area code in the same geographic area as the existing area code 905. No existing subscribers will be required to change the area code portion of their telephone number, but 10-digit dialing will be required on all local calls.


The Commission is satisfied that it clearly conveyed its intent to order the provision of a single, consistent 10-digit local dialing plan for all customers placing calls to, from and within 905/289.


In the Commission’s view, the fact that all carriers, aside from Bell Canada, implemented full 10-digit dialing confirms that the requirement was clear. The Commission considers that the clarity of its requirement is supported by the fact that it is consistent with earlier Commission findings and with documentation from the CISC ad hoc committee discussions.


In Order CRTC 99-1141, SAIC Canada – Request for approval of NPA 416 relief plan, dated 10 December 1999, the Commission referred to a CISC committee plan for relief in area code 416, noting that:

…the Committee reached a consensus on a recommended area code 416 relief plan (the Plan). The Plan… recommended that a new area code be introduced as a distributed overlay in April 2000. The overlay relief method requires mandatory 10-digit dialing for all local calls.
[emphasis added]


Further, on page 11 of the 27 March 2000 planning document, Area Code 905 Numbering Relief Rev. 3, distributed overlay is described with reference to the addition of another area code coincident with the exhaust of area code 905. The description states that with the addition of the new area code:

Coincidentally, universal 10-digit local calling would be required.


In light of the above, the Commission's view is that its phrase "10-digit dialing will be required on all local calls" in Order 2000-772 clearly meant all local calls, including local calls into 905/289 from adjacent area codes.

Bell Canada’s local dialing plan


Bell Canada proposed keeping the limited seven-digit local dialing plan for its customers by protecting 342 of the approximately 760 available central office (CO) codes in 289 until a new area code is added in 519 during the first quarter of 2005. Bell Canada noted that a CISC committee on 519 exhaust relief recommends distributed overlay. At that point, 519-related local dialing would change from seven- to 10-digits.


However, the Commission notes that protecting 342 CO codes would substantially limit their availability. Protection of these CO codes would also move the 289 exhaust date forward in time to 2006 from its currently projected exhaust date of 2011.


According to estimates by the Canadian Numbering Administrator (CNA), the code protection proposed by Bell Canada would also impose an additional one-and-a-half to two hours’ worth of work on the CNA for each code request in the affected exchanges.


Further, if each new CO code is assigned in portions of each of area codes 519, 613, 705, 905 and 289, those CO codes would have to be protected in at least two of the other area codes. The effect of this would move forward the exhaust dates for all five of these area codes. In addition, there would be extreme limitations on the ability of all carriers to choose CO codes.


In Order CRTC 2000-786, New area code overlay to be introduced in 604 region, dated 16 August 2000, the Commission noted a move toward a uniform 10-digit dialing plan in the North American Numbering Plan Area. The Commission, therefore, found 10-digit local dialing to be appropriate.

Commission’s determination


In light of the foregoing, the Commission considers that Bell Canada's proposal to retain seven-digit local dialing into 905/289 would be inefficient. Further, this dialing plan would contradict the Commission's findings that universal 10-digit local dialing is appropriate and required in such cases.


Accordingly, the Commission finds that all seven-digit dialing into 905/289 from adjacent area codes should be eliminated as soon as possible.


Customers in adjacent area codes will likely have little direct experience with 10-digit local dialing. In addition, changes to customer equipment will be necessary. For these purposes, Bell Canada must provide these customers with a permissive dialing period.


It will also be necessary, however, to provide time prior to the permissive dialing period to allow Bell Canada with the opportunity to make changes to its own network and to conduct a consumer awareness program.


The Commission directs that:

· Bell Canada comply with the requirements of Order 2000-772 by instituting 10-digit local dialing into area code 905/289 from exchanges in adjacent area codes.
· Bell Canada contact all affected customers by 31 January 2002 to inform them of the changes that will be made.
· Bell Canada implement a permissive dialing period of four months beginning 20 July 2002 and ending on 16 November 2002. This permissive dialing period will include the introduction of a network intercept of each call placed using seven-digits, which will be followed by a reminder announcement before the call is completed.
· Bell Canada complete the implementation of 10-digit local dialing into area codes 905 and 289 from adjacent area codes by 16 November 2002.

Secretary General

This document is available in alternative format upon request and may also be examined at the following Internet site:

Date Modified: 2001-11-22


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