The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission on October 23, 2002, ordered telephone companies in the state to take two additional steps to use telephone prefixes more efficiently.
In the 360 area of western Washington, the WUTC directed CenturyTel to consolidate rate centers in the areas where it is the incumbent local exchange company. The WUTC order applies to 26 rate centers, which will be consolidated into nine larger rate centers. This action will enable both CenturyTel and its competitors to use each prefix to serve customers over a wider geographic areas. For example, the San Juan Islands are currently divided into four separate rate centers, and a separate prefix is required in each rate center. These will be consolidated into a single rate center, enabling any new prefixes to be used over the entire area.
In the 509 area of eastern Washington, the WUTC directed companies to extend number pooling to the entire area. Number pooling allows up to 10 telephone companies to use a single prefix in providing service to customers. Without number pooling, each telephone company gets a separate prefix in each rate center where it offers service. The WUTC had already required number pooling in Spokane, and this order extends the requirement to cover the remainder of the 509 area.
Staff contact: Rebecca Beaton, tel. 360 664-1287, e-mail email@example.com.