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MAINE PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION OPENS INVESTIGATION INTO VERIZON WIRELESS'S PHONE NUMBERING PRACTICES

August 3, 2021

207 AREA CODE PREDICTED TO BE EXHAUSTED BY END OF 2024

Hallowell, Maine - The Maine Public Utilities Commission opened an investigation today into the growth numbering resources and number forecasting practices of Verizon Wireless.

According to an April 2021 analysis, the 207 area code could exhaust in the fourth Quarter of 2024. Based on a review of number resource requests from Verizon from January 2020 through June 18, 2021, the Commission has reason to question the Company's forecasting process for numbering resources.

"Maines 207 area code is dwindling rapidly, and while there may be a time when Maine has to accept a new area code, it would be a shame for one companys practices to hasten that time if it has no actual need for the numbers," said Chairman Philip L. Bartlett II. Based on data we have received, Verizon may be using unrealistic forecasting goals, unnecessarily tying up available phone numbers.

The investigation directs Verizon to provide the Commission with detailed information including available phone numbers and percentage utilization in all rate centers and a detailed explanation of why forecasted growth is greater than historic growth. All public documents related to the case are available on the Commission website. Please reference Case #2021-00212.

Meanwhile, the Commission has petitioned the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to direct the North American Numbering Plan Administrator to report on the technical, operational, and cost requirements to implement number optimization measures in the 207 area code. The Commission has also worked with carriers on mitigation strategies, which have resulted in the return of more than 600,000 numbers to the numbering pool from unused or slightly used blocks.

About the Commission The Maine Public Utilities Commission regulates electric, telephone, water and gas utilities to ensure that Maine citizens have access to safe and reliable utility service at rates that are just and reasonable for all ratepayers. Commission programs include Maine Enhanced 911 Service, gas safety and Dig Safe. Philip L. Bartlett, II serves as Chairman, Randall Davis and Patrick Scully serve as Commissioners.

Learn more about the Commission at www.maine.gov/mpuc


CONTACT: Susan Faloon, Media Liaison CELL: 207-557-3704 EMAIL: susan.faloon@maine.gov EMAIL: susan.faloon@maine.gov