TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Crossborder 7-Digit

Re: Crossborder 7-Digit

Anthony Bellanga (
Wed, 08 Mar 2006 16:38:50 -0700

PLEASE DO NOT display my email
address anywhere in this post!
****************************** wrote:

> For you geography fans out there:

> Just out curiosity, would anyone know the rates and dialing
> procedures between such very close small border towns of:

> Madawaska, Maine and Edmunston, New Brunswick
> Pembina, North Dakota and Emerson, Manitoba
> Sweetgrass, Montana and Coutts, Alberta
> Thomas Falls, Montana and Burke Idaho

> I randomly picked off towns on the map that closest to the border.
> Are dialing instructions for towns available on the web now?

Two of the crossborder pairs you listed are indeed TOLL, and you are
charged US-to-Canada or Canada-to-US toll rates depending on which
carrier you use, according to whatever discount plan you might have
for any/all US/Canada calls. If the call is indeed TOLL, then station
sent-paid toll calls are dialed as 1+ten-digits. (Card calls, collect
calls, etc. could be dialed as 0+ten-digits, or using the 800 dial-up
number of the card or operator provider of your choice).

But Sweetgrass MT and Coutts AB are local to each other. I don't know
if only seven-digits will work, or if ten-digits is required, or even
if 1+ten-digits is required, but as long as you don't force the call
via a long distance carrer with a 101XXXX+ code or on a calling card,
that call is indeed LOCAL. Again, I don't know the dialing instructions
and they could be different in each direction for the local call. The
local TELUS directory for Coutts AB or local NORTHERN TELEPHONE CO-OP
for Sweetgrass MT might give the proper dialing instructions.

Similarly, Madawaska ME and Edmunston NB. The local directories might
indicate the proper dialing procedures, 7-d, 10-d, 1+10-d, for the
local call, and which would be used in which direction. The Maine
(USA) side is Verizon (Bell Atlantic, NYNEX, New England Telephone),
and the New Brunswick (Canada) side is Aliant (NB Tel) which is
partially held by Bell Canada.

An interesting website to check out is Ray Chow's "Local Calling Guide"

There is a section called "Seldom Asked Questions" (scroll down from
the main page just referenced and click), and there is a section on
local call arrangements between certain US/Canada border communities,
under the header "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)".

It doesn't indicate dialing instructions, i.e., 7-d, 10-d, 1+10-d,
which can vary in each direction on the same bordertown pair, but it
does indicate the communities and NPA-NXX central office codes involved
for those US/Canada bordertown or cross-border arrangements.

I mention how the local dialing instructions might not be exactly the
same in each direction. The dialing procedure for local calls from
Bell Canada's St.Regis QC (613-575) to Verizon's (NYNEX, NY Telephone)
Fort Covington NY (518-358) was only seven-digits back about six or
seven years ago. I don't know if that still holds true. But even seven
years ago, the local dialing procedure to call from the NY/USA side to
the QC/Canada side was a *required* 1+, followed by all ten-digits,
613-575-xxxx. The call was still local unless you tried to force a
101XXXX+ code, or tried using a calling card via a long distance
carrier. Also, note while St.Regis is in Quebec (Canada), it uses area
code 613 for its c.o.code 613-575. 613 is the area code for eastern
Ontario. At one time, St.Regis QC was indeed 514-575, using the southwest
Quebec 514 area code. But St.Regis is a "remote" off of Cornwall ON,
and apparantly Bell Canada needed to change the area code to one of

Note in the next section on "Seldom Asked Questions", titled: "What
about local calling arrangements across provincial or territorial
boundaries?", you'll see that St.Regis QC also has local calling with
its "host" of Cornwall ON (which is indeed area code 613).

There are a few situations where the area code of the adjacent
province (or state) is used instead of creating a special central
office code with the "correct" state's area code, despite the fact
that telco would tell us that "area codes never cross state
boundaries". Most certainly in Canada, they CAN cross provincial
boundaries, but there are a few hidden examples of this in the US as
well, but very few, and not really easily documented as such.

But Ray Chow's website indicates all of the US/Canada crossborder
local situations, as far as we know. And his website is an excellent
resource for finding out if calls between two communities or NPA-NXX
codes, are indeed local to each other!

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