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ABBREVIATED DIALING CODES HIT ROADBLOCK

WASHINGTON-A proposal to assign abbreviated dialing codes nationwide appears to be headed for a major roadblock from the North American Numbering Council. NANC is expected to approve a report in September that will declare no one supports abbreviated dialing codes, said Lori Messing, manager for technology resources for the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association.

Messing is part of the NANC task force examining industry use of abbreviated dialing codes. The task force was expected to present a report last week but a “minority” view is holding it up, Messing said. The minority favors the nationwide dialing codes, which allow customers to dial less than seven digits to reach a common destination. In the wireless arena, this may mean #-7-7 to reach state police.

The report will tell the Federal Communications Commission which N-1-1 codes are available. Messing said CTIA is opposed to internetwork abbreviated dialing, which would be necessary for most N-1-1s to work, because too many codes already are being used by individual carriers.

One member of the minority, Peter Guggina, director of technical standards management for MCI Communications Corp., said he was content to submit a minority view with the report because he believes the report will have “a lot of holes and traps to kill abbreviated dialing.”

The FCC is considering assigning 3-1-1 and 7-1-1 on a nationwide basis. 3-1-1 would be used for non-emergency police calls and 7-1-1 would access the local telecommunications relay service (TRS).

Non-emergency police calls would help public safety answering points, which often are overburdened by non-emergency calls. By using 3-1-1, the calls could be better prioritized.

TRS is used by those with hearing and speech disabilities to make calls on the public switched telephone network.

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