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Public Service Commission


05/19/2005 Contact: 850-413-6482

Number Conservation Staves Off Mandatory 10-digit Dialing in Florida Keys

TALLAHASSEE — A series of telephone number conservation measures initiated by the Florida Public Service Commission may push back to the year 2009 the need to impose mandatory 10-digit dialing for local calls in the Florida Keys.

The Commission will take up a staff recommendation at its May 31 agenda conference which advocates leaving intact a number of measures geared toward saving telephone numbers and staving off 10-digit dialing.

Projections made in 1999 indicated the availability of phone numbers beginning with the area code 305 were dwindling.  These projections led the telecommunications industry to recommend 10-digit dialing for the Keys effective August 1, 2001

The Commission rejected the recommendation and instead undertook a series of conservation measures aimed at preserving as many numbers as possible.

“We understand the difficulty consumers have dialing 10 digits to call a neighbor across the street,” Commission Chairman Braulio Baez said. “We did everything we could to avoid that situation in the Keys and it looks like we can spare them that aggravation for a few more years.”

Measures employed by the Commission included taking back unused blocks of numbers from carriers who did not assign the numbers to customers, giving out numbers to carriers in blocks of 1,000 instead of 10,000, and a number of technical changes.

Current projections call for mandatory 10-digit dialing in the middle of 2009 in the Keys. While 10-digit dialing is not currently required, Keys residents can dial local calls using 10 digits during what is called a “permissive dialing” period without incurring toll charges.