City of Ottawa dials up controversy

The City of Ottawa says a “geographic split” might be the best way to introduce a new area code for the national capital region, but industry observers say this move could spell increased costs for nearby municipalities and businesses.

The City of Ottawa suggested in a letter to the Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) late last year that the federal government should reconsider its plans for a new area code or “Numbering Plan Area” (NPA) in the national capital region.

Originally the Commission had meant to introduce a new NPA in the massive “613” area code region with an “overlay.” That means the new NPA would apply to new telephone numbers everywhere in the 613 district, which spans a whopping 1,000 square kilometres.

“It’s a big geographic area,” said Anthony Keenleyside of McCarthy T