NPA Relief Planning

NANPA performs NPA relief planning in the U.S. and its territories. A list of area code relief planning reports and other information is also available on the NANPA website.

The industry has developed guidelines that serve as a basis for the relief planning process, which includes:

  • Estimating when the numbers in each area code will be depleted,
  • Convening the industry to examine alternative methods of providing a new supply of numbers,
  • Helping the industry to reach consensus on a specific plan,
  • Submitting the plan to the state public utility commission for approval,
  • Publishing a press release and planning letter describing the approved relief plan, and
  • Assisting the industry to begin the implementation process.

NANPA conducts a semiannual industry survey called Number Resource Utilization/Forecast (NRUF) Reporting.. From the survey input, NANPA estimates an exhaust date for each U.S. NPA. The Canadian Numbering Administrator conducts a similar survey and exhaust estimates for Canadian NPAs.

NANPA uses a Microsoft Excel® based model to assist NPA relief planners to evaluate different relief alternatives.

When demand for central office codes exceeds projections and there is insufficient time to implement a relief plan before exhaust, NANPA Code Administration may declare jeopardy to conserve the numbering resource until relief can be fully implemented.

NPA relief normally involves the assignment of one or more new area codes. Shortly after new area codes are assigned, NANPA issues a press release announcing the details available at the time. At a later date, when more comprehensive information is available, NANPA publishes a planning letter.

The relief activities status report, updated monthly, provides detailed information on progress on NPA relief activities. NANPA has developed a report that provides a snapshot of the status of active and pending NPA relief projects in the United States. This chart provides information such as the NPA, the location, the latest exhaust forecast, important dates such as when industry or public meetings were or will be held, jeopardy status, rationing status, NPA assignment status and other important relief planning data. The report is available for download under Area Code Relief Planning Reports. Definitions of the fields on the chart are provided.

Certain relief planning activities may be keyed to the occurrence of future events. During the NPA relief planning process, a state regulator or the industry may specify further action that NANPA is required to undertake based on a related event or trigger point expected to occur sometime in the future. The NPA Relief Planning Triggers Report lists these events and associated activities and shows the NPA, Location, Description of Action and Trigger Point, and the Status for each action item.

Industry members and regulators can access meeting minutes and other detailed relief planning documents through the NANP Administration System. NANPA has also developed a list of frequently asked questions concerning the area code relief process to assist the industry and general public.

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