Washington State Number Plan Area (NPA) Exhaust Projections
2015 Washington area code exhaust projections by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
Area code exhaust projections are calculated by the FCC's North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA). Communication service providers submit anticipated number resource use twice a year to the FCC. Those projections are calculated and then dates released by the FCC on when an area code will run out of numbers.
Numbering Efficiency and Conservation in Washington State
Inefficient allocation of prefixes without number pooling has been the main cause of area code exhaust nationwide. The UTC and federal regulators require service providers to use the existing supply of numbers efficiently through the following:
- Rate center consolidations help conserve numbering resources by expanding the area in which a prefix may be used.
- Number pooling conserves numbers by allowing up to ten companies to share a single telephone prefix (which has a total of 10,000 numbers available).
- State and federal regulatory number resource compliance oversight.
Number portability allows a customer to keep her telephone number when there is a change of service provider, location or service. The FCC (Order CC Docket 99-200) requires all service providers to port numbers.
- Customers should direct number portability questions to their current company.
- If you have problems with number porting after contacting your current company, you may contact the UTC Consumer Protection Help Line.
- Companies may direct number portability inquiries to UTC Regulatory Service Telecom Staff.
Area Code Changes
- In 2000, Area Code "564" was assigned to Western Washington by the FCC.
- The UTC approved a plan to overlay a new area code over the current 206, 253, 360, and 425 area codes.
- Implementation of the new code plan requires customers to dial ten digits to complete a local call.
- In 2001, the plan was suspended for over a decade; however, now the 2015 exhaust projections above (especially regarding area code 360) indicate that such a solution is perhaps once again imminent. See link: Docket UT-143787 for more information on the process.
In 2002, a plan to overlay the 509 area code with a second code (and require ten digit local dialing) in Eastern Washington was proposed by FCC representatives on behalf of communications service providers; however, the UTC dismissed the proposal and instead directed that efforts be focused on using the exisiting limited supply of number resources more efficiently.
- The UTC also directed its staff to identify unused prefixes, monitor projected demand, research and implement conservation efficiencies, and require service providers to share prefixes in compliance with federal and state rules.