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May 27, 1999

Separate Statement of
Commissioner Gloria Tristani

Re: Numbering Resource Optimization. CC Docket No. 99-200.

This Notice represents an important first step towards promoting efficient number utilization and creating standards for number optimization. The advent of new services using our nationwide numbering scheme, the entry of new competitors in the telecommunications market, the explosive growth customer of demand for telephone lines to support additional services, and the inefficient use of numbers all have contributed to a tremendous strain on our nation's numbering resources.

For some states, this problem has reached crisis proportions. Illustrating the rapid pace of area code exhaust, the California Public Utilities Commission projects that by the end of 2002, California will have 41 area codes. At the end of 1992, the state had only 13 area codes in use. In April, the California Public Utilities Commission reported that it had approved 7 new area codes in the previous 10 months. In one instance, immediately after the area code split was completed, the code administrator declared the new area code in jeopardy of exhausting its numbering resources.1

The Commission must act expeditiously to relieve the burden not only on the state commissions developing area code relief plans but most importantly on consumers, who face enormous costs and inconvenience each time area code relief is implemented. The carriers that serve these consumers have a vital role to play in forging solutions to promote efficient allocation and use of numbering resources. Accordingly, I urge telecommunications carriers and state commissions alike to participate in this proceeding to help craft a solution that will prevent the exhaust of our North American Numbering Plan.

1. See Briefing on Numbering Issues, California Public Utilities Commission, April 1999.