phone fun, was GeoIP database issues and the real world consequences

Owen DeLong owen at
Wed Apr 20 14:52:29 UTC 2016

> On Apr 15, 2016, at 2:21 PM, Mark Andrews <marka at> wrote:
> In message <B29E85C0-81A5-4BDB-B821-9393EF5A85BB at>, David Barak writes
> :
>>> On Apr 15, 2016, at 3:09 PM, Mark Andrews <marka at> wrote:
>>> Australia is about the area as the US and has always had caller
>>> pays and seperate area codes for mobiles.
>> Australia has fewer people than Texas, and is more than an order of
>> magnitude smaller than the US by population.  Effects of scale apply here
>> in terms of path dependence for solutions.
>> David Barak
>> Sent from mobile device, please excuse autocorrection artifacts
> NA has a 10 digit scheme (3 area code - 7 local) though most of the
> time you end up dialing the 10 digits.

Not an entirely accurate description. In fact, in the US, it’s more of
a 3-tier mechanism… 3 area code, 3 prefix, 4 local.

As a general rule, a prefix exists within a single CO (modulo cutouts
for LNP, etc.). There are usually multiple prefixes per CO since most
COs serve significantly more than 10,000 numbers.

In the US, Area codes do not cross state lines and in most cases do
not cross LATA boundaries, either.

For the most part, “long distance” calls within the US are a thing of the
past and at least one mobile carrier now treats US/CA/MX as a single
local calling area (calls to/from anywhere in those three countries are
the same price (generally included/free) as calls between two phones
standing next to each other.

> Australia has a 9 digit scheme (1 area code - 8 local)
> Yes the area codes are huge (multi-state) and some "local" calls
> are sometimes long distance.  In my lifetime local calls have gone
> from 6 digits to 7 and then 8 digits.  The last change got rid of
> lots of area codes and expanded all the local numbers to 8 digits.
> This allows you to use what was a Canberra number in Sydney as they
> are now all in the same area code.  Canberra and Sydney are a 3
> hour drive apart.
> We are no longer in a age where we need to route calls on a digit
> by digit basis.

While this is true, there are still significant differences in scale and cost
structures between AU and US.


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