Three state utility commissions have asked the FCC once again to consider individual telephone number pooling (ITN pooling) as a proposed method of conserving numbering resources within an area code. The process involves a numbering administrator assigning telephone numbering resources one telephone number at a time, rather than at the current pooling level blocks of 1,000 numbers. The industry previously studied the feasibility of ITN pooling in 2000 but the idea did not reach fruition.

Maine, New Hampshire, and North Dakota have requested that the FCC revisit the idea’s technical, operational, and cost requirements to implement individual telephone number pooling on a trial basis. Advocates of the trials believe ITN pooling may offer more efficient number assignments and help to avoid premature area code exhaustion.

Which States Want ITN?

  • Maine Public Utility Commission filed a petition asking the FCC to direct the NANPA to report on the requirements to implement individual telephone number pooling for the 207 area code on a trial basis.
  • New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission filed a petition to implement a trial for individual telephone number pooling in NPA 603.The NH PUC also supported the Maine petition.
  • The North Dakota Public Service Commission DPSC supported the Maine and New Hampshire petitions and asked the FCC to grant it the same relief to implement ITN pooling for its 701 area code.
  • The Massachusetts Department of Telecommunications and Cable filed comments supporting New Hampshire’s petition for the 603 area code but did not request its own ITN trial.

Next Steps

In response to the requests, the FCC has directed the North American Numbering Council (NANC), through its Numbering Administration Oversight Working Group (NAOWG) to investigate the feasibility of ITN pooling trials, including technical, operational, and cost considerations with respect to the entity administering the pooling (such as the Pooling Administrator), service providers, and other stakeholders. The FCC also asked to NANC for suggestions for alternatives to ITN. The NANC must submit a report to the FCC by August 15, 2022.

JSI’s Bridget Alexander White serves as Vice Chairwoman of the NANC and will be working on this report as part of the NANC’s NAOWG. Service providers in the applicable states are invited to share opinions with Bridget – good, bad, or ugly – on the proposed ITN trial. She can be reached via email or at 301-459-7590.

Numbering & Porting Essentials Service

Clients interested in educating their staff on the cavalcade of numbering, porting and robocall mitigation requirements all service providers will face in 2022 should consider subscribing to JSI’s Numbering & Porting Essentials service. The subscription includes breaking news alerts, a free webinar and web-based education sessions designed to keep companies informed about important numbering, porting and robocall mitigation decisions that will impact their internal operations and customers. Contact Bridget Alexander White for more details and to sign up.