PA-PUC Approves Overlay to 570 Area Code [telecom]

The Pennsylvania-PUC has unanimously approved (5-0) an OVERLAY for the

570 area code region in north-central and north-eastern Pennsylvania. The PA-PUC had actually approved the overlay last week, on Thursday 15-July-2010. There is a Press Release at the PA-PUC's website:

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and there are media reports at various local area radio/TV/newspaper websites.

The PA-PUC's press release indicates that the new overlay area code will be needed by 3-Q/2011, and hopes that the telco industry will have the overlay implemented by 01-March-2011. At present, 7-digit dialing is still possible for local intra-570 calls, so there will have to be what is probably going to be an expedited transition to mandatory ten-digit intra-570 local dialing.

It is also possible that further or stricter number/NXX-code conservation measures could postpone the implementation of the new area code overlay. This will be determined by the telco industry and regulatory, probably when the next "NRUF" Survey is released by NeuStar-NANPA in late October or early November 2010.

The new area code digits are NOT indicated at this current PA-PUC press release of Thursday 15-July-2010, but my *GUESS* is that 272 will be the new overlay area code.

570 split from 717 (retained by eastern south-central Pennsylvania) back in 1998/99.

There are already overlays in Pennsylvania. Southeastern PA (Philadelphia Metro) is the 215/267/(future-445) "core" part, and 610/484/(future-835) is the "outer ring" (suburbs) part, 610 first split from 215 in 1994/95. The initial 215/267 and 610/484 overlays took place in 1999.

Southwestern PA including Pittsburgh Metro was originally intended to be overlaid, the original 412 area code overlaid with 724 back in 1997, but that was canceled, a split implemented instead in 1998. Pittsburgh PA Metro kept 412, the other areas of southwestern PA split to 724 in

1998. ALL of the 412 and 724 area was "officially overlaid" in Summer 2001, but only ten-digit mandatory dialing was implemented so far. Even to this day, there are still not any 878-NXX from the 878 overlay NPA. However, 724 is almost out of available NXX, so it is likely that there will finally be some 878-NXX codes assigned/activated by late this year (2010) or early next year (2011).

The other two area codes in Pennsylvania (both dating back to the official "origins" of the NANP/Area Code Format of October 1947), have also had area code "relief" planning by the telco industry and regulatory. 814 for northwestern PA and western south-central PA, and also 717 which is still retained by eastern south-central PA following the 717/570 split of 1998/99 -- both have relief petitions pending before the PA-PUC, overlays area requested in both cases by the telcos. No indication of when the PA-PUC will make any kind of announcements as to split vs. overlay (overlays are likely), and obviously not the codes themselves, but my *GUESS* is for:

582 as the relief code for 814, and 223 to overlay 717.

VeriZon/Bell-Atlantic/Bell-of-Pennsylvania is the dominant ILEC (BOC) for Pennsylvania, but VZ/GTE-and-Contel is also dominant throughout most of Pennsylvania. The legacy GTE including Contel in PA has been retained by VZ and has been "integrated" into the day-to-day operations of legacy BOC BA/B-PA, just as it has been in BA/C&P-Virginia. I doubt that VeriZon will sell-off legacy GTE/Contel in PA or VA, unless they also sell-off all of their legacy landline operations (BOC as well) in either state. But I tend to think that PA and VA are rather profitable when compared to West Virginia.

Other ILECs in PA which also operate in other states include:

- Windstream (from Alltel and also the local "Denver & Ephrata Tel")

- CenturyLink (from Embarq/Sprint/United)

- Frontier (from Citizens and others; but apparently NOT from any GTE nor Contel within Pennsylvania which seems to all still be VeriZon)

- TDS Telecom

- Armstrong (which is also an ILEC in parts of NY, WV, MD)

and of course, there are other small locally owned independent rural ILECs as well throughout the state.

I expect that NeuStar-NANPA and/or the PA-PUC will announce the actual code digits for the overlay to 570, within another several weeks, and as mentioned above, my *GUESS* is that 272 will be the overlay. Also, I tend to think that the PA-PUC will be making their split vs. overlay decisions and subsequent announcements on 814 and 717 later this year, in Fall 2010.

Mark J. Cuccia markjcuccia at yahoo dot com Lafayette LA, formerly of New Orleans LA pre-Katrina

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Mark J. Cuccia
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