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  #1  
Old Posted May 28, 2009, 10:12 PM
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Hello? Manitoba running out of phone numbers

Hello? Manitoba running out of phone numbers

Last Updated: Thursday, May 28, 2009 | 3:45 PM CT - CBC News

The Canadian Numbering Administrator, which consists of representatives from both government and industry, says Manitoba's 204 area code is expected to exhaust its supply of telephone numbers by January 2011.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission said Thursday it has initiated a process to resolve the number shortage.

A relief planning committee (RPC) is being established to evaluate various options and make recommendations to the CRTC, said a release from the commission.

In its planning, the RPC will evaluate possible relief measures, including splitting an area code's region or adding a new code to the region.

"The CRTC will then determine the most appropriate relief plan, taking into consideration the RPC's recommendations," the release stated.

The CRTC is an independent public authority that regulates and supervises broadcasting and telecommunications in Canada.
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  #2  
Old Posted May 29, 2009, 8:58 AM
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Maybe they can expand 807 to cover Manitoba, too?
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Old Posted May 29, 2009, 1:37 PM
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Interesting. I didn't think with a population of just over a million that they'd run out, but it's likely due to the proliferation of cell phones. Pretty much every farmer I know has one now, and that wasn't the case 5-10 years ago.

There will probably just be an overlay over the existing code as it'll cause the least amount of disruption to existing homes and businesses... but if they were to split it, I'd think the Winnipeg region should have it's own code and the rest of Manitoba another. I don't know who would keep 204... Vancouver/Lower Mainland got its own code (250) when they split BC, didn't they?
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Old Posted May 29, 2009, 1:59 PM
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If/when a new area code, I hope that they geographically split Manitoba, rather than overlay two area codes over the entire province.

That way, if you know where who you are calling is located within MB, you'll know the area code. With overlay, you'll always have to get the area code as well as the 7-digit phone number when you get someone's number. Cause with overlay, knowing that they live in Winnipeg or Thompson wouldn't be an indicator as to the area code.

With overlay, wouldn't you have to dial either 1-204 or 1-### with every call you make, even within the city? I know they can design it so you wouldn't get dinged with long distance within the city, but still... that dialing the area code each time would be annoying.

I'm also not surprised that a prov with about 1.3 million needs a second area code in this day-and-age. Think about how many phone numbers you may have attributed to you... if you're in an office environment you probably have: a land line at home, direct number to your desk at work, your personal cell, your work-issued b-berry or pager. That's four, for just one person. I know this isn't the case for everyone, but you can see how it adds up in current times.

Last edited by DowntownWpg; May 29, 2009 at 3:16 PM.
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Old Posted May 29, 2009, 3:23 PM
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The problem is, how do you geographically split the province? With so much of the population in Winnipeg and probably most of the Cell phones, dividing it from the rest of the province might not last long. I suppose they could always split Winnipeg later though.
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Old Posted May 29, 2009, 3:37 PM
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Originally Posted by jmt18325 View Post
The problem is, how do you geographically split the province? With so much of the population in Winnipeg and probably most of the Cell phones, dividing it from the rest of the province might not last long. I suppose they could always split Winnipeg later though.
Say they do geographically split it that one region is Winnipeg, and the other region is 'everywhere else' in MB.

All of the current phone numbers outside of the city would be 'freed-up,' as those numbers would now have a different area code. They can then issue those numbers as new Winnipeg numbers when the need arises.

Say some farmer from around Winkler has a home phone number of 204-555-1234, when the change happens, his number becomes ###-555-1234 ("###" is the new area code). Meanwhile, 204-555-1234 is now free.

Of course, they'll probably not issue that number for a few years so the farmer can tell his contacts his new number, etc.

Every current number outside of the city could be issued within the city, eventually, under a geo split (I assume).

One area code for a city Winnipeg's size should be more than enough, I'm assuming. My quick google search tells me that an area code would have roughly eight million phone numbers.

Oh yeah... I'd rather Wpg gets to keep the 204, and outside of the city... they can get the funky new area code. Less people current phone numbers would be affected that way, I'm sure.
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  #7  
Old Posted May 29, 2009, 3:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DowntownWpg View Post
Say they do geographically split it that one region is Winnipeg, and the other region is 'everywhere else' in MB.

All of the current phone numbers outside of the city would be 'freed-up,' as those numbers would now have a different area code. They can then issue those numbers as new Winnipeg numbers when the need arises.

Say some farmer from around Winkler has a home phone number of 204-555-1234, when the change happens, his number becomes ###-555-1234 ("###" is the new area code). Meanwhile, 204-555-1234 is now free.

Of course, they'll probably not issue that number for a few years so the farmer can tell his contacts his new number, etc.

Every current number outside of the city could be issued within the city, eventually, under a geo split (I assume).
I think jmt18325 understands that. He's saying that since the population outside of Winnipeg is so small, splitting it between "Winnipeg" and "Not Winnipeg" would be a very temporary solution, since Winnipeg itself would run out shortly after the province as a whole would have otherwise ran out.
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Old Posted May 29, 2009, 4:55 PM
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It's not that the phone numbers are actually being used, it's just that there are now a lot of companies each of which gets a big block of phone numbers allocated to them for future use. That wasn't the case when MTS had a monopoly. That's why even small jurisdictions like Manitoba are suddenly running out of available numbers. Most likely it would be an overlay because an urban-rural split would still leave a large majority of numbers on one side of the split (i.e. the Winnipeg side).

In Toronto and area we have a number of "overlay" area codes and you virtually never hear of them being used. Apparently "647" is used in Toronto city: you can go through pages of the phone book and find only a handful of people with a 647 number. I've never dialled a 647 number.
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  #9  
Old Posted May 29, 2009, 4:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rypinion View Post
I think jmt18325 understands that. He's saying that since the population outside of Winnipeg is so small, splitting it between "Winnipeg" and "Not Winnipeg" would be a very temporary solution, since Winnipeg itself would run out shortly after the province as a whole would have otherwise ran out.
Oh, I see. Thanks for the clarification.

But, I still think that if one area code was all just for Winnipeg starting in 2011, with all the numbers that shores up... I assume it would be a very long time to take for our city to run out. Maybe when I'm in my 80's, Wpg will be split in half (if phones still exist like they do today, with numbers).

Consider that Edmonton, and Calgary, are in different area codes. Both are much larger cities than Winnipeg, and the area code isn't just for the city itself, but roughly half of the area of the province each (population-wise). If they can do that, surely Winnipeg could have one all to itself.




UPDATE: thanks, Andy6, that is good info to know.
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  #10  
Old Posted May 29, 2009, 5:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DowntownWpg View Post
Oh, I see. Thanks for the clarification.

But, I still think that if one area code was all just for Winnipeg starting in 2011, with all the numbers that shores up... I assume it would be a very long time to take for our city to run out. Maybe when I'm in my 80's, Wpg will be split in half (if phones still exist like they do today, with numbers).

Consider that Edmonton, and Calgary, are in different area codes. Both are much larger cities than Winnipeg, and the area code isn't just for the city itself, but roughly half of the area of the province each (population-wise). If they can do that, surely Winnipeg could have one all to itself.




UPDATE: thanks, Andy6, that is good info to know.
Alberta has a new area code - 587 which is an overlay of BOTH the 780 and 403 codes. You could live anywhere in Alberta and receive the new code when you get a new phone line.
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  #11  
Old Posted May 29, 2009, 9:05 PM
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You wouldn't have to dial 1-204 if it is not long distance. I can call from my home (819) to my office (613) without dialing 1 before. If you do, the cheery automated voice tells you, 'this is not a long distance call'.
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  #12  
Old Posted May 29, 2009, 9:22 PM
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^^ What they did in BC was give 604, the original area code, to the lower mainland (includes Metro Vancouver) and the new one, 250, to the rest of the province (includes Victoria). Calls to 250 need a 1 in front.

A few years later they introduced 778 for the 604 region. After that, to dial anywhere within the lower mainland, you have to dial 10 digits (778-XXX-XXXX or 604-XXX-XXXX) even if it's to the same area code you're calling from.

778 is really only used for cell phones, even though technically it may be assigned to landlines as well. I have never personally seen a 778 landline, but probably 50% of the people I know have a 778 cellphone.

Getting used to 10-digit dialing is very simple. Even when saying their phone number aloud, shortly after the 10-digit dialing was introduced, 90% of people were saying it as their 10-digit number.
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Old Posted May 29, 2009, 10:30 PM
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Most telephone extensions in 807 have maybe 500 numbers assigned at most. More than 75% of them are to tiny communities. 333 and 777 are assigned to Thunder Bay but I have never seen them used before. Which is weird, you'd think there would be a 333-3333 or 777-7777 number for a pizza place or something. 333 is designated to ExaTel, a company I have never heard of.

It is also possible to overlay over just Winnipeg. 807 might be expanded to overlay 705 in the future, but the NWO part of 807 will most likely remain 7-digit dialing. I've also noticed that writing the area code with the number is getting more common here, so I guess it is just a North America-wide trend.
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Old Posted May 29, 2009, 10:49 PM
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in winnipeg theres a pizza hotline witch has 222-2222
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  #15  
Old Posted May 29, 2009, 10:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lubicon View Post
Alberta has a new area code - 587 which is an overlay of BOTH the 780 and 403 codes. You could live anywhere in Alberta and receive the new code when you get a new phone line.
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Old Posted May 30, 2009, 1:05 AM
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Likely MB will end up with an overlay of 431 (the next available code which 'fits' according to the algorithm they use to determine which codes are usable in a geographic area), meaning 10 digit dialing will also come into play. The CNA meeting minutes from their first meeting about the process note that even with a concentrated overlay (so giving only winnipeg the new code) it would force 10 digit dialing province wide for technical reasons. The fun part of the process is that MTS has never coordinated a transition before, so Bell is also wanting to play a major role in the process from what I got out of the documents on the CNA web site
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Old Posted May 30, 2009, 1:13 AM
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One of the problems Manitoba faces, is back when phones lines were originally being set up many towns got there own prefex, and if the couldn't use the whole lot, well then the remainer was wasted.

For example Deloraine has the prefex of 747. All the local land line numbers in the town start with 747, and the ones not currerntly used are still held in reserve for that town.

This is the case for most towns in the province, which is not an efficient use of numbers since many towns don't utilize anywhere near 9999 phone lines.
In the end it means a province of 1.3 million is running out of phone numbers.
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Old Posted May 30, 2009, 4:21 AM
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I explained that already, it happened in NWO too. In the reverse directory of the 807 phone book, there are some extensions that don't even have 100 numbers in use.
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Old Posted May 30, 2009, 6:34 PM
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Originally Posted by newflyer View Post
One of the problems Manitoba faces, is back when phones lines were originally being set up many towns got there own prefex, and if the couldn't use the whole lot, well then the remainer was wasted.

For example Deloraine has the prefex of 747. All the local land line numbers in the town start with 747, and the ones not currerntly used are still held in reserve for that town.

This is the case for most towns in the province, which is not an efficient use of numbers since many towns don't utilize anywhere near 9999 phone lines.
In the end it means a province of 1.3 million is running out of phone numbers.
Within Winnipeg must have been like that too, I'm guessing.

When I was a kid my grandparents, and lots of other people in the North End all had numbers starting with 582, at least was the case in the Ukrainian & Polish section of the North End. As well, North and East Kildonan was mostly all 667 and 668 numbers.

Last edited by DowntownWpg; May 30, 2009 at 6:53 PM.
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Old Posted May 30, 2009, 9:33 PM
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Originally Posted by DowntownWpg View Post
Within Winnipeg must have been like that too, I'm guessing.

When I was a kid my grandparents, and lots of other people in the North End all had numbers starting with 582, at least was the case in the Ukrainian & Polish section of the North End. As well, North and East Kildonan was mostly all 667 and 668 numbers.
Those reflected the old exchange names, e.g. 942 and 943 for downtown were WHitehall (WH2 and WH3), 475 in Riverview was GRosvenor, 772 in the west end was SPence and 253 and 256 in St. Vital were ALpine.
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