- 2. Present
3. INADEQUACY OF PRESENT REMEDIES
- Full Area Code Coverage
- The simplest solution to this problem
is to divide the NANP service area into the almost 800 area code combinations
allowable, which appears to be the direction the telephone companies are
taking. Even these may not suffice however. The Federal Communications
Commission expects the available area codes to be exhausted at an accelerated
- Overlay Approach
- According to this approach several area
codes are assigned to the same NPA (Rozansky,
1997). Consequently all calls
within that NPA require ten digits to distinguish between the area codes.
There is already public resentment against ten-character local calls however,
which is increasing.
- Unbound Groups
- Another approach would be to lift the
restrictions posed by bound groupings of three and four characters and
simply add additional characters to telephone addresses as required. However
this approach would require additional access codes to signal the number
of characters to follow unless all addresses were revised simultaneously.
Otherwise this approach would lead to an increase in misdialing as the
number of characters required will change with the address: local versus
long distance; four versus five line numbers, and would probably be rejected
as incompatible with the NANP.
- Fax Routing
- To facilitate facsimile data transfer
to several machines in different locations using the same facsimile address
a suffix-group arrangement has been proposed by Human Communications (HumanComm) in conjunction with the Electronic Messaging
Association (EMA) and standardized by the Telecommunications Industry
Association (TIA) as IS-141. Each machine would have a sub-address
in the form #<xx...x> with up to 20 characters following the
NANP characters. The simplest arrangement would have three characters in
the suffix group. For example:
- Hence numerous facsimile data transfer
terminals such as fax machines or computers located at the same installation
or domain can be distinguished by their sub-addresses.
- Ostensibly this arrangement could be
extended to general telecommunication addressing:
- def-ghij#01 Telephone
- def-ghij#02 Facsimile
- def-ghij#03 Cellular
- def-ghij#04 Modem
- However if the PSTN switch expects the
suffix group then addresses without the group could not be connected. If
telephones alone were exempt from using the suffix group then any hesitation
before dialing the suffix group would result in a telephone connection
or misconnection, unless some waiting period was included in the PSTN programming.
Beyond this period the PSTN switch would understand that a telephone connection
was being made, even if this was not the intent. This arrangement accordingly
is not fully compatible with the present PSTN protocol. Worse, for general
telecommunication addressing ten characters would be required for local
calls and 14 for long distance using a minimal three-character suffix group.
Practically, Fax Addressing is useful only for the very specific application
for which it was developed rather than general addressing.
- Integrated Messaging
- According to Universal Message Services
(UMS) a single workstation would control all communications
for a subscriber: voice, facsimile, e-mail, whatever. Voice messages could
be converted to text and text to e-mail, and facsimile to e-mail and e-mail
to voice. Hence subscribers could specify the perceived format of their
incoming messages. Responses would be converted into the same formal as
was the incoming message. Hence UMS is a highly sophisticated messaging
system that probably could not be fully implemented at present but promises
to be extremely useful for the most demanding users of telecommunication
services. Accordingly UMS would not be overly practical in ordinary commercial
and residential service for the foreseeable future. Moreover UMS does not
directly impact on overall addressing concerns.
- Electronic Recognition
- Telecommunications devices could be altered
to transmit a recognition signal to indicate to the PSTN switch the device
to be accessed. Hardware solutions however pose a myriad of problems, not
the least being the public's perception that their telephones are obsolete
or worse that a set box will be required, as for television cable access.
- 4. LONG TERM NUMBERING PLAN