The Iowa Utilities Board is asking the Federal Communications Commission for rules changes which would help Iowa deal with a shrinking pool of available phone numbers. Utilities Board spokesman Chuck Seel says the 5-1-5 and 3-1-9 area codes will be the first to run out of available numbers. Seel says the board wants to change the amount of numbers allocated to new phone companies.New phone companies are automatically assigned 10-thousand phone numbers and the board wants that lowered to one-thousand. Many new companies never use all ten thousand numbers. Seel says the board is also asking for permission to reclaim unused numbers. In addition, Iowa regulators want the F-C-C to delay ten-digit dialing.An overlay is being considered as a way to deal with the shortage of phone numbers in the 5-1-5 area code. Seel says Iowa’s request probably won’t help the immediate problems.Seel says Iowa is unique compared to other states because there are nearly 160 phone companies in the state.Seel says the board has also asked the F-C-C to let state regulators monitor the way future phone numbers are distributed in Iowa.
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