DENVER — A Public Utilities Commission (PUC) administrative law judge will accept written comment until Dec. 23, 2020, on a request for approval of a new area code overlay to provide numbering relief for Colorado’s current 303/720 area code.
The North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA), the neutral, third-party numbering relief planner, filed the request in May on behalf of the Colorado telecommunications industry. Absent the relief, the 303/720 area code is projected to run out of useable numbers during the second quarter of 2023.
In order for relief to be implemented before numbering exhaust occurs, the industry is requesting the PUC issue an order no later than fourth quarter of 2021 approving a nine-month implementation schedule. Adherence to this schedule will allow the new area code to be implemented six months prior to the projected exhaust, according to the petition. The 303/720 area code covers the north-central portion of Colorado, including the Denver metro area.
Colorado had just one area code (303) until 1988, when 719 was introduced in southeast Colorado. In 1995, the 970 area code was added to serve the northern and western part of the state. Then, in 1998, the 720 area code was overlaid on top of the 303 code to provide number relief in the Denver metro area.
The proposed all-services overlay would superimpose a new area code over the same geographic area covered by the existing 303/720 area code and is projected to last 25 years. All existing customers would retain their 303 or 720 area code and would not have to change their telephone numbers. The current dialing pattern – 10-digit local calling and 1 + 10-digit long distance calling – would remain the same.
Industry participants reached consensus to recommend to the PUC a nine-month schedule for implementing the all-services overlay. That period would include customer education and network preparation by telecommunications providers. Activation of the new area code would take place no later than the fourth quarter of 2022.
Members of the public may submit written comments until Dec. 23 regarding the overlay relief plan and the industry’s joint implementation proposal by using the PUC’s on-line comment form under proceeding 20V-0192T.
About the PUC
The Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) serves the public interest by effectively regulating utilities and facilities so that the people of Colorado receive safe, reliable, and reasonably-priced services consistent with the economic, environmental and social values of our state.
The Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) is dedicated to preserving the integrity of the marketplace and is committed to promoting a fair and competitive business environment in Colorado. Consumer protection is our mission. Visit https://dora.colorado.gov/ for more information or call 303-894-7855/toll free 1-800-886-7675.