Local Calling Guide

Seldom asked questions

Last updated: Sat, 30 Aug 2014 11:47:04 UTC

Why does this site exist?

It all started in the early 1990s with a freeware program called T416. This DOS utility, originally written by David Leibold, provided local calling and prefix information. After collecting data for use with T416, it seemed logical to develop a web site. The first version of this web site appeared in 1996 on the Hamilton-Wentworth Free-Net (now the Hamilton Community Network). Since then, the site has evolved into a searchable database.

What is the source of the local calling information?

Most of it comes from tariff documents, telephone directories, regulatory filings, and other telephone company sources. Note that the local calling information is for regular landline phones; wireless providers tend to have larger free calling areas. See tariff links.

What is the source of the area code and prefix information?

Are there places where international local calling exists?

Cross-border local calling exists between the following exchanges (two-way local calling unless otherwise specified; only incumbent carrier prefixes listed):

For many years, Point Roberts, Washington (now 360-945) enjoyed local calling with Ladner-Beach Grove, British Columbia (604-940/943/946/948). That link disappeared in June 1988 when Whidbey Telephone Company took over from BCTel as the local telco in Point Roberts.

What about local calling arrangements across provincial or territorial boundaries?

Just where is St-Régis, anyway?

St-Régis, Québec is on the St Lawrence River, about 70 km southwest of Montréal, just across from Cornwall, Ontario. This exchange serves the Canadian side of the Akwesasne Mohawk reserve, which includes territory in Québec, Ontario, and New York. It used to be in area code 514, but this changed to 613 some time between 1989 and 1994.

Do you provide direct database access or extract files?

I don't run my own server, so I cannot grant access to the database. Due to the significant time involved in developing the site, I've decided not to make database extracts available. You may, however, save search results as HTML, and process them yourself.

Where do you find the maps for the prefix listings?

The maps show the approximate rate centre location. Switch locations are not available at this time.

What are all those cryptic notations under "Plan type" or "Call type"?

This means that local calling to or from this rate centre is available for specific calling plans. For a brief explanation of calling plans, see Plans. Entries in the "Call type" column refer to different types of calls (local, local toll, band/zone, etc.)

For example, [Premium] refers to the Premium calling option for customers in Maine, which provides extended local calling for a higher monthly fee. Customers who do not subscribe to this plan pay 5 cents per minute to call these places.

[ECS] stands for Extended Calling Service. This is measured-rate local calling, available in Florida. The customer does not have to subscribe, and there is no flat-rate option. Sprint-Florida also has certain local calling routes that cost 20 or 25 cents per call; these are shown as [20C] and [25C] respectively.

Some exchange names contain abbreviations such as EMS, EACS or MCA. What do these mean?

EMS is Extended Metropolitan Service. This is an optional plan provided by some carriers in Texas, using dedicated prefixes for this purpose.

EACS is Extended Area Calling Service, also offered in Texas, which amounts to the same thing as EMS (tariffs distinguish between one-way and two-way EACS; only the two-way EACS appears in the database, since this requires a separate prefix and the one-way type doesn't).

Missouri and Kansas have something similar called MCA (Metropolitan Calling Area) in the St Louis, Kansas City, and Springfield metropolitan areas. This calling plan includes a central area plus mandatory and optional tiers for suburban exchanges.

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