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PRC vacates order on 505/575 area code split

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By Special to the Monitor

The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (PRC) vacated  its order to show cause, issued in October because of industry problems with implementation of the 505/575 area code split. The order was issued in Case No. 06-00141-UT.In the October order, the PRC placed the burden on all phone companies, both wireline and wireless, to show why they should not be fined for violating the commission’s area code orders.The order also required periodic reports from all phone companies on all complaints concerning the area code split. When the PRC issued its order to show cause, there were a high number of complaints.Industry’s rollout of the area code split in New Mexico got off to a difficult start with a number of callers not being able to dial into or out of the new 575 area code.The commission held a technical workshop in November 2007 to address many of the transitional issues in the area code split.Technical experts from the telecommunications industry attended, and provided input to help remedy the implementation problems.The basis of many of the problems appeared to be local number portability.In the last three months, there has been a substantial decline in consumer complaints, with less than four received by the consumer relations division of the PRC.Although the NMPRC has now vacated its order, it is still concerned about preventing any future area code split complaints from consumers, and said the order sends a very strong message to industry to be fully prepared well in advance of the mandatory dialing period, which begins this coming October.Any future area code complaints should be directed to the NMPRC Consumer Relations Division at 800-663-9782.For information, contact the PRC Public Information Office at 827-4446 or by cell phone at 699-7991.