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SCC schedules hearing in Courtland on 757 area code relief

COURTLAND

The State Corporation Commission has scheduled a public hearing in Courtland on Monday, Aug. 12, to receive comments on a proposed solution for resolving the exhaustion of available phone numbers in the 757 area code.

The North American Numbering Plan Administrator, filed an application with the SCC to begin the exhaust relief planning process. According to NANPA, subscriber growth and the expanding number of devices requiring phone numbers eventually exhausts the numbers available within an area code. The 757 area code was created in 1996, splitting off from the 804 area code, which was nearing exhaustion at that time.

In this case, NANPA is recommending an all-services overlay as the solution for the 757 area. Under this plan, a new area code would be assigned to the existing 757 area code region once all available numbers are exhausted. Those who have a 757 area code number would experience no area code change. Although the proposed plan would require 10-digit dialing for local calls.

“Under the proposed relief plan, the 757 area code would continue to exist for the area,” said Paul Brockwell, a spokesman for the SCC. In an all-services overlay … the area will have two area codes assigned to it. This is similar to what happened with the 703/571 numbers in northern Virginia. No one would be forced to change their area code in this scenario.

“A geographic split — which is not being recommended in this case — is an option that would divide the existing 757 region into two equal parts and require half of the residents to get a new area code … That particular solution is what created the 757 and 434 area codes in Virginia, but it has not been done since 2006 (New Mexico) in the United States.”

The public hearing will be held at 6:30 p.m. in the boardroom of the Southampton County Administration Building, located at 26022 Administration Center Drive, Courtland.

Additional public hearings are scheduled:

• On Tuesday, Aug. 20, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. in the Board of Supervisors boardroom of the James City County Government Center, Building F, 101 Mounts Bay Road, Williamsburg;

• On Wednesday, Aug. 21, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. in the Chesapeake City Council chamber at the City Hall building at 306 Cedar Road, Chesapeake;

• On Thursday, Aug. 22, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. in the Board of Supervisors boardroom in the Accomack County Administration Building, located at 23296 Courthouse Ave., Accomac.

“Selection of locations — to my knowledge — was made to provide a wide range of options for residents to comment at a location convenient to their residence within the 757 area as a whole,” Brockwell said.

The hearing will continue in Richmond on Sept. 17 at 10 a.m. in the SCC’s second-floor courtroom, located in the Tyler Building at 1300 E. Main St. Any person wishing to comment at any of the hearings should arrive early and sign in with the SCC bailiff. The SCC will webcast an audio stream of the Richmond hearing. Instructions for listening to the proceeding can be found online at: http://scc.virginia.gov/case/webcast.aspx.

Written comments on the cae must be submitted by Sept. 10, 2019, and be sent to the Clerk of the State Corporation Commission, Department Control Center, P.O. Box 2118, Richmond, Virginia 23219-2118. Comments should reference case number PUR-2019-00059. Individuals may also submit comments online at www.scc.virginia.gov/case/PublicComments.aspx. To submit comments online, find case number PUR-2019-00059 and click on the “submit comments” button for this case.

For more information about this case, the Division of Public Utility Regulation has posted frequently asked questions related to the area code exhaust and solutions at: http://www.scc.virginia.gov/pur/phone/757ac.aspx.