Code Section Group

Public Utilities Code - PUC

DIVISION 4. LAWS RELATING TO UTILITY CORPORATIONS AND THEIR EMPLOYEES [7503 - 8286]

  ( Division 4 enacted by Stats. 1951, Ch. 764. )

CHAPTER 3.5. New Area Codes [7930 - 7943]
  ( Chapter 3.5 added by Stats. 1990, Ch. 199, Sec. 1. )

7930.
  

The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(a) The explosive demand for new area codes in California requires more area codes to be established than was envisioned when this chapter and Section 2887 were enacted in 1990.

(b) Because of the advent of competition in the local telecommunications market, and a decision by the Federal Communications Commission, new area codes are established by the North American Numbering Plan Administrator in conjunction with the commission and members of the telecommunications industry.

(c) In order to eliminate potential confusion for all the parties involved in the process of establishing new area codes, the changes to this chapter enacted in the 1997–98 Regular Session include identifying “providers” in Section 7931.

(d) The “providers” specified in Section 7931 include telephone corporations and resellers that are regulated by the commission, and paging companies that are not regulated by the commission. It is necessary to include all of these entities within the term “providers” in order to effectively meet the needs of the state as they relate to the establishment of new area codes. The Legislature does not, however, by including paging companies as “providers” in Section 7931, intend to expand the jurisdiction of the commission over paging companies beyond the requirements of this chapter. The Legislature continues to recognize the status of paging companies as unregulated entities.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1998, Ch. 534, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 1999.)

7931.
  

(a) This chapter is applicable to telephone corporations, including resellers, and to paging companies, hereafter referred to as providers.

(b) For purposes of this chapter, “coordinator” means the “coordinator for California area code relief” as designated by the North American Numbering Council.

(c) Whenever the coordinator and providers evaluate the potential boundaries of a new area code, they shall consider rate area boundaries, municipal boundaries, communities of interest, and other appropriate criteria.

(d) When the coordinator determines the need to establish a new area code, at least 30 months prior to the projected opening of the new area code, the coordinator shall provide written notice to the commission regarding the need to establish the new area code.

(e) From the date the written notice required by subdivision (d) is received by the commission all of the following shall be done:

(1) Within three months all providers shall notify all affected customers in writing of the need to establish a new area code. Nothing in this paragraph requires a customer to receive in one bill more than one notice for each billed number.

(2) Within nine months the coordinator and the commission staff shall notify representatives of local jurisdictions and the public in affected geographic areas, and, at the discretion of the commission, may conduct one or more meetings both for representatives of local jurisdictions and for members of the public in affected geographic areas to inform them of the proposed area code relief options and of measures that may be taken to mitigate any potential disruptions, and to afford them the opportunity to discuss the potential impact of the proposed options.

(3) Within 11 months the coordinator shall file the results of the area code relief planning process with the commission requesting commission approval to implement a plan. Anyone may contest the results of the area code planning process by filing a written protest with the commission not later than 60 days after the results have been filed with the commission.

(f) Unless the commission determines otherwise, at least 12 months prior to the date adopted by the commission for opening the new area code, all of the following shall be done:

(1) The coordinator shall notify the general public of the specific geographic area to be included in both the old and new area codes. The notice shall include the schedule for any transitional dialing periods required by Section 7932.

(2) Each telephone provider serving the specific geographic area included in the existing area code shall give written notice to all its affected customers about the specific geographic area that will be included in the new area code. The notice shall include the schedule for any transitional dialing periods required by Section 7932, and the prefixes that will be contained in the new area code. Nothing in this paragraph requires a customer to receive in one bill more than one notice for each billed telephone number.

(g) Within three months prior to the adopted date for opening the new area code, each provider serving the existing area code shall give written notice to its affected customers of the specific geographic boundaries of the new area code. The notice shall include the schedule for any transitional periods required by Section 7932, and the prefixes that will be contained in the new area code. Nothing in this paragraph requires a customer to receive in one bill more than one notice for each billed number.

(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 425, Sec. 13. (SB 385) Effective January 1, 2018.)

7932.
  

(a) Whenever a provider opens a new area code, it shall do all of the following:

(1) If the new area code plan permits seven-digit dialing, provide for a transitional dialing period during which a number in the new area code, or a number in the existing area code, may be reached by dialing either the seven-digit called number, or the area code plus the seven-digit called number.

(2) Subsequent to the transitional dialing period provided in paragraph (1), if prefix codes are available, permit callers to reach a recorded announcement, without charge, that will inform the caller of the new area code when the existing area code is dialed.

(3) If the new area code plan requires 10-digit dialing within an area code, provide for any transitional dialing period or recorded announcements the commission may order.

(b) Paragraphs (1) and (2) of subdivision (a) shall no longer be operative if an authorized federal or state agency orders mandatory 10-digit dialing.

(Added by renumbering Section 7931 by Stats. 1998, Ch. 534, Sec. 5. Effective January 1, 1999.)

7933.
  

The rate structure of any call originating in or made to an area code shall not change with the split of an area code into two or more area codes, regardless of the number of digits dialed.

(Added by renumbering Section 7932 by Stats. 1998, Ch. 534, Sec. 6. Effective January 1, 1999.)

7934.
  

The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(a) The number of area codes in this state has more than doubled since 1991.

(b) The proliferation of area codes has caused undue hardship on citizens of this state, who have begun to be forced into new area codes after years of having the same telephone number.

(c) That proliferation has substantially increased costs to businesses, individuals, and government agencies.

(d) New area codes require the replacement of business cards and letterhead stationery, and companies must use employee time contacting their customers to ensure that those customers are able to continue to reach the affected company.

(e) The proliferation of area codes has also reduced worker productivity as employees begin using new and unfamiliar area codes.

(f) It is the policy of the Legislature that existing area codes should be preserved for as long as possible.

(g) It is the further policy of the Legislature that the hardship currently experienced by telecommunications customers as a result of the creation of new area codes should be alleviated.

(h) For all of the reasons stated above, it is necessary for the commission, as a public agency, to take all possible measures to protect area codes as a public resource, stop area code proliferation, and review their existing practice of establishing new area code regions and the creation of area code overlays.

(Added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 809, Sec. 2. Effective October 10, 1999.)

7935.
  

(a) The commission shall develop and implement any measures it determines to be available for telephone corporations that possess prefixes to efficiently allocate telephone numbers within those prefixes. The commission shall consider the cost effectiveness of these measures before requiring implementation. Among the measures the commission shall consider are rate center consolidation, allocation of numbers in blocks smaller than 10,000, and unassigned number porting.

(b) For the purpose of this section, in accordance with the North American Numbering Plan, a telephone number consists of a three digit area code or number plan area (NPA), a three digit prefix or NXX code, and a four digit line number.

(Added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 809, Sec. 3. Effective October 10, 1999.)

7936.
  

The commission shall direct the North American Numbering Plan Administrator to obtain utilization data for any area code for which a relief plan is proposed, prior to adopting a plan for, or setting a date for, relief.

(Added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 809, Sec. 4. Effective October 10, 1999.)

7938.
  

The commission shall require, as an interim measure until the commission develops procedures for number pooling or adopts utilization standards, that number assignments made by telephone corporations to their customers shall be made first from prefixes that are more than 25 percent in use. A telephone corporation may assign numbers from prefixes with less than 25 percent use only to the extent necessary, if numbers from prefixes that are more than 25 percent in use are not otherwise available.

(Added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 809, Sec. 6. Effective October 10, 1999.)

7939.
  

(a) If the commission or an authorized federal agency establishes a process to ensure that telephone numbers can be allocated in blocks smaller than 10,000, the commission shall require that a telephone corporation return to the North American Numbering Plan Administrator blocks of telephone numbers for reassignment, in a quantity determined by the commission.

(b) The commission shall direct the North American Numbering Plan Administrator to seek the return of blocks of numbers smaller than 10,000 not in use. The commission, for purposes of this section, shall define “not in use.”

(Added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 809, Sec. 7. Effective October 10, 1999.)

7940.
  

A telephone corporation doing business in this state that possesses one or more telephone number prefixes, or portions thereof, shall provide to the commission or its agent, upon request, use information pertaining to both those prefixes in use and those prefixes not in use, according to any schedule established by the commission.

(Added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 809, Sec. 8. Effective October 10, 1999.)

7943.
  

(a) It is the intent of the Legislature that when the commission has no reasonable alternative other than to create a new area code, that the commission do so in a way that creates the least inconvenience for customers.

(b) The commission shall request that the Federal Communications Commission grant authority for the commission to order telephone corporations to assign telephone numbers dedicated to mobile telephony service and mobile data service, as defined in Section 224.4, to a separate area code and to permit seven digit dialing within that technology-specific area code and the underlying preexisting area code or codes.

(c) Before approving any new area code, the commission shall first perform a telephone utilization study and implement all reasonable telephone number conservation measures.

(d) If the commission receives the grant of authority set forth in subdivision (b) and determines that further area code relief is needed, the commission shall exercise the authority granted to it in subdivision (b) unless it finds at least one of the following:

(1) Exercising the authority granted by subdivision (b) would be more disruptive to the customers where area code relief has been determined to be necessary.

(2) Exercising the authority granted by subdivision (b) will not adequately extend the life of the area code where relief has been determined to be necessary.

(e) The commission may not implement any authority granted by the Federal Communications Commission pursuant to subdivision (b), in a manner that impairs the ability of a customer to have number portability.

(Amended by Stats. 2006, Ch. 198, Sec. 25. Effective January 1, 2007.)

PUCPublic Utilities Code - PUC