Posted: Jan 11, 2007, 4:08 PM
Join Date: Jul 2001
Tue, October 31, 2006
New phone code
By PABLO FERNANDEZ, CALGARY SUN
Alberta’s blistering growth will soon affect the way Albertans make their phone calls, likely resulting in 10-digit local dialing and a third area code.
But unlike the two area codes that currently exist in Alberta, which have geographic boundaries, the new overlay area code will be superimposed over the entire province, said Glenn Pilley, director of the Canadian Numbering Administrator, which is responsible for phone numbers in Canada.
“We need to drop another area code into the province,” he said.
“403 will run out of numbers in three years and 780 will run out one year later.
“So we need to have another area code in place one year before that happens, preferably 18 months before.”
Cell phone companies, which will have to reprogram handsets, alarm companies which rely on phone service for home security and building buzzers, which use phone lines to connect visitors to apartments, will need the time to adjust, he said.
In a proposal the CNA hopes to send to the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission within the week for approval, the province would receive a new area code and entirely switch to a 10-digit dialing system, even for local calls, said Pilley.
If approved, the proposed changes will take place within the next two years, he said.
The CNA hopes the CRTC, which often approves CNA proposals, will return with a verdict within six months, said Pilley.
The new area code will be given to new phone numbers in the province, regardless of their geographic location, he said.
Depending on growth, the new area code will provide Alberta with another 10 to 20 years’ worth of numbers, said Pilley.
Canadian locales already using overlay area codes and 10-digit dialing include Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver.