Re: Mexico (Dial 1)

[Please anonymize me as always. Thanks.]

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: One thing they _could_ do now to

> alleviate any need for number (length) expansion forever would be to > eliminate '1' as a country code and put this side of the globe on a > somewhat more equal footing with everyone else by assigning (as an > example) '14' to USA, '15' to Canada, '16' to Pacific Islands (fomerly > in '1'), etc. Then everyone's (no longer needed because out of the new > country code) area codes could be reassigned forever. Obviously they > would never run out. That would at least even the score a little where > the America-centric numbering system was concerned, IMO. Oh, I know > there would have to be major reprogramming of some switches along the > way, but what the hell, AT&T was always foisting off that > reprogramming on the other countries for years and years was it not? PAT]

Pat, I'm afraid that the numbers simply don't work for your idea.

The NANPA website reports 328 area codes (and special access codes) are currently assigned. They break down as follows:

24 For Canada (23 geographic, 1 SAC [NPA 600]) 18 For other NANP nations (in Caribbean and Atlantic) 8 Multinational SACs (NPAs 900, 700, 800, etc.) 278 For USA

The 278 USA NPAs can be further broken down as:

1 US-only SAC (NPA 710) 2 For US territories in Caribbean (Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands) 3 For US territories in Pacific (Guam, American Samoa, N. Marianas) 272 For geographic NPAs in the 50 states and District of Columbia

So, to address the specifics of your suggestion:

1) What would be the point of a separate country code for the Pacific islands currently in +1? Those three territories have only a handful of people and their departure from the USA's putative new country code would free up a whopping total of *three* NPAs. Even if you also exiled Hawaii to this new Pacific country code, that would only bring the total up to 4 reclaimed codes. Besides, the entire point of those territories joining the NANP over the past decade was to better integrate them into US calling plans and economy. For instance, my VoIP service provides me unlimited free calling to the *entire* USA, including *all* its territories (now that American Samoa has joined the NANP), not to mention all of Canada. 2) Even splitting Canada and the other NANP nations out into separate country codes would provide very little NPA relief. The US would still need the 8 SACs, so we would require a total of 286 NPAs to serve just the US, compared to the current 328 NPAs that serve the entire NANP. I.e., you'd still need 88 percent of the area codes that currently exist. This is hardly surprising, since the US accounts for close to 88 percent of the NANP's population. The NANP is so "US-centric" simply because the area it serves happens to be US-centric when you count people and phone lines. It's not all that different from the other single-digit country code (+7); most of the people and phone lines in +7 are located in Russia, with relatively few in Kazakhstan. 3) What problem are you trying to solve, exactly? It's not the case that the NANP is close to exhausting its area codes anyway -- NANPA projects an exhaust date of 2035. Even that may be premature given the way that 1K block pooling has dramatically slowed the consumption of NPAs in recent years. I suppose that reclaiming those 12 percent of the NPAs that are not used by the US would push the exhaust date out another few years, but if you're going to posit a scenario in which the US alone is going to chew through 300+ new area codes, adding another 42 reclaimed codes to the pot is hardly going to "alleviate any need for number (length) expansion FOREVER".

Bob Goudreau Cary, NC

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: It would never, ever work out that the USA gained that many more area codes (as you point out, maybe a dozen or so) [unlesss you further split the USA into two 'county codes', lets call them eastern-USA and western-USA, '13' and '14' perhaps,] while all the 'others' gained such an abundance of codes they would never, ever run out. What _would_ happen would you would have a numbering scheme which 'looked more like' the rest of the world, with each country having its own block of numbers. It would give the whole thing a more consistent appearance. It would partially or mostly remove the appearance of the USA-centric nature of the phone system. PAT]
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Bob Goudreau
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