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ALJ/TRP/sid * Mailed 9/25/2000
Decision 00-09-073 September 21, 2000
BEFORE THE PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
Order Instituting Rulemaking on the Commission's Own Motion into Competition for Local Exchange Service.
(Filed April 26, 1995)
Order Instituting Investigation on the Commission's Own Motion into Competition for Local Exchange Service.
(Filed April 26, 1995)
O P I N I O N
In Decision (D.) 99-09-067, we suspended the overlay relief plan for the 310 area code previously approved in D.98-05-021, and established a program to resolve number allocation problems through more efficient utilization of existing numbers, including number pooling and related measures. By this decision, we adopt a back-up contingency plan to provide for the possibility of a geographic split of the 310 Numbering Plan Area (NPA) should it become necessary, and as required by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). We adopt Alternative 1A as the back-up plan. Alternative 1A is the geographic split originally proposed by the industry as described in D.98-05-021. We defer adopting a schedule to implement the back-up plan at this time. It is premature to adopt an implementation schedule until we confirm that carrier-reported utilization data is reliable. We order an independent audit to make such confirmation. Upon receipt of the audit report, we shall then be in a position to move forward with a mechanism to trigger implementation of the relief plan if the audit findings warrant such action.
On June 9, 1999, a Petition to Modify D.98-05-021 was filed by Assemblyman Wally Knox, Congressman Henry A. Waxman, and a number of civic organizations in the 310 NPA area requesting that the Commission halt the previously approved overlay relief plan. The Petition argued that: "[P]ublic concern about the rapidity of number exhaustion and disruption and hardship caused by the accelerating pace of creation of new area codes has caused all levels of government to reconsider numbering issues."1
On June 24, 1999, the Commission issued D.99-06-091 granting a temporary suspension of the activation of the 424 area code to provide the Commission sufficient time to address the merits of the Petition. On September 16, 1999, the Commission adopted an Interim Opinion, D.99-09-067, granting the Petition to Modify, suspending the overlay and instituting more aggressive measures to conserve existing numbers.
On September 15, 1999, the FCC granted the Commission's April 23, 1999 Petition for Additional Delegated Authority to implement various area code conservation and relief planning measures.
Paragraph 15 of the FCC Order required that in any NPA in jeopardy where the Commission implements a number pooling trial, steps must be taken to adopt an NPA relief plan that could be implemented if numbering resources were in imminent danger of being exhausted. Since the Commission in D.99-09-067 mandated a number pooling trial in the 310 NPA, and suspended the implementation of the 424 NPA overlay, it is necessary to adopt a back-up NPA relief plan.
An Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) ruling was issued on October 4, 1999, soliciting comments concerning the adoption of a back-up relief plan for the 310 NPA. The ALJ ruling sought comments concerning the adoption of the geographic split Alternative 1A that originally had been presented for consideration by the Commission, as described in D.98-05-021.
Opening comments were filed on November 1, 1999, and reply comments were filed on November 9, 1999. Parties commented on time constraints involved in implementing a back-up relief plan, including the lead time that would be required to implement switching and related technical steps in preparation for the new area code(s). Parties also commented on what windows of time would be available or feasible to institute permissive or mandatory dialing periods for the new area code.
Comments were filed by Pacific Bell (Pacific), GTE of California, Incorporated (GTE), the Cellular Carriers Association of California (CCAC), AirTouch Cellular Communications, Inc. (AirTouch), Sprint PCS and Sprint Communications Company L.P. (Sprint), the Office of Ratepayer Advocates (ORA), The Utility Reform Network (TURN); Assemblyman Wally Knox and Speaker Antonio Villaraigosa (Legislators) and Lockheed Martin IMS - NANPA. Joint comments were filed by AT&T Communications of California, Inc., Optel Telecom, Inc., MCI WorldCom, Inc., NEXTLINK of California, and Pac-West Telecom, Inc. (collectively, the Joint Commenters).1 Petition, at 4.