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Regulators: Maine Could Soon Run Out Of 207 Phone Numbers

Corey Templeton
Flickr/Creative Commons

Maine utility regulators are hoping to preserve Maine’s “207” identity. But they may not be able to: according to the Maine Public Utilities Commission, within four years the pool of seven-digit phone numbers that could be assigned to area code 207 could run dry.

“Maine is one of the few states that has only one area code for the state,” says commission member Bruce Williamson.

Williamson says a single statewide code is valuable.

“It is tradition and brand identity and some commercial uses and it has familiarity on business stationary and so forth,” he says.

The commission opened an inquiry Tuesday into preserving the statewide code as long as possible and staving off adding a new code for new Maine phone numbers, possibly by getting some phone companies that have “reserved” a suite of numbers to release them for general use.

But Maine already uses additional area codes — the state’s northernmost municipality, Estcourt Station, uses area codes from next door Province of Quebec, rather than 207.

A Columbia University graduate, Fred began his journalism career as a print reporter in Vermont, then came to Maine Public in 2001 as its political reporter, as well as serving as a host for a variety of Maine Public Radio and Maine Public Television programs. Fred later went on to become news director for New England Public Radio in Western Massachusetts and worked as a freelancer for National Public Radio and a number of regional public radio stations, including WBUR in Boston and NHPR in New Hampshire.