Area code 246

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The area code +1 246 is a composite part of the telephone numbering plan for Barbados, also known as the National Numbering Plan.[1] It is part of a system used for assigning telephone numbers in Barbados, and functions as a part of the North American Numbering Plan (NANP). It is regulated by the government's Telecommunications Unit, which holds responsibility for telecommunications.[2]

Due to a long established affiliation with NANP, phone numbers in Barbados are often styled as "(246) NXX-xxxx". However, this can cause confusion with Diego Garcia which is country code +246 under the International Telecommunications Union standard E.164.[3] As such, other international standards like E.123 strongly advocate the inclusion of a "+1" prefix to indicate "246" is a part of the NANP.[4]

History[edit]

The 246 area code, or "BIM", perhaps short for "Bimshire" — was created during a split from the original +1 809 area code, which was done on or around the date July 1996.[5][6] By 15 January 1997 all calls placed to Barbados required the use of the prefix +1 246 prefix.[5]

Dialing to Barbados[edit]

  • From within North America (NANP)

When calling Barbados from elsewhere in the North American Numbering Plan (e.g. from the United States or Canada), callers dial as if undertaking regular ten-digit dialing within those countries. Callers must simply dial 1 + 246 + seven digit phone number.

  • From outside NANP

When calling to Barbados from outside the NANP (e.g. from the United Kingdom), callers must dial their international dialling prefix followed by 1 to access the North American Numbering Plan. For example, a call placed from the United Kingdom would be dialled as 00 + 1 + 246 + local seven digit phone number. Failure to include the number "1", would result in accessing country calling code +246 of British Indian Ocean Territory (Diego Garcia).[7]

Dialing within Barbados[edit]

When placing a phone call from Barbados, also known as HPNA, callers simply use seven-digit dialling (i.e. dialling the last seven digits of the phone number). Unlike in some other Caribbean islands, most residential landline subscribers have unlimited/un-metered rates for calling other local landlines.

  • To North America (NANP)

When calling to other places in the North American Numbering Plan, calls are dialed as if undertaking regular ten-digit dialing in those countries. Callers must simply dial 1 + NPA (area code) + seven digit phone number.

Though usually toll-free when dialled from the US, not all 1-800, 1-888, 1-877, or 1-866 are toll-free when being dialled from Barbados, and may be treated as a toll call. If the number is not toll-free a recording will give directions of how to place a fee based call.

  • To areas outside the NANP

When calling to areas outside the NANP (e.g. the United Kingdom), callers dial 011 + country calling code + phone number. In the case of the UK, a user would dial 011 + 44 + area code + UK phone number.

General[edit]

Police Force: 211, Ambulance: 511, Fire: 311
Information/Directory Assistance: 411
Operator: 0

Central Office Codes[edit]

Main article: Telephone exchange

In the NANP telephone format of +1-NPA-NXX-xxxx, the central office codes fall in the position of NXX. In 1996 the following central office numbering plan was put in place by the incumbent local exchange carrier.[5][8]

Location
(By parish or central office)
Numbers
Christ Church 418, 420, 428
Grazettes 417, 421, 424, 425, 438
St. James 432
St. John 433
St. Lucy 439
St. Philip 423
Telebarbados 620-629
Special services 978
Speightstown 419, 422
Windsor Lodge 228, 426, 427, 429, 430, 431, 434, 435, 436, 437
Cellular 230
Spare 220

Mobile operators[edit]

Following liberalisation of the telecommunications industry in Barbados, various central office codes were implemented for local mobile carriers. The following COs were outlined in 2004 by the Minister of Energy and Public Utilities.[9] In most cases Barbados numbers beginning with the following central office codes do not permit incoming collect calls.

Digicel Landline, Internet, Mobile,
Entertainment (LIME)

(formerly bMobile)
Sunbeach
258, 260, 261, 262, 263, 264, 265, 266, 267, 268, 269, 820, 821, 822, 823, 824, 825, 826, 827, 828, 829[‡ 1] 230, 231, 232, 233, 234, 235, 236, 237, 238, 239, 240, 241, 242, 243, 244, 245, 246, 247, 248, 249, 250, 251, 252, 253, 254 450, 451, 452, 453, 454, 455, 456, 457, 458, 459
  1. ^ (820-829), Formerly controlled by AT&T Wireless until transfer to Digicel.

VoIP providers[edit]

310 - 359[10]

Geographic[edit]

Other landline central office codes which have been activated include the following:

227, 228, 229, 270, 271, 272, 273, 274, 292, 367, 410, 412, 414, 415, 416, 417, 418, 419, 420, 421, 422, 423, 424, 425, 426, 427, 428, 429, 430, 431, 432, 433, 434, 435, 436, 437, 438, 439, 736, 737, 753, 757, 958, 976

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Admin. (2008). "Policies, Plan & Registers". Telecoms Unit. Ministry of Finance, Investment, Telecommunications and Energy (MFIE). Retrieved 8 July 2010. 
  2. ^ "About Us". Telecoms Unit. Ministry of Finance, Investment, Telecommunications and Energy (MFIE). Archived from the original on 4 July 2010. Retrieved 8 July 2010. 
  3. ^ Admin. (2008). "E.164 : The international public telecommunication numbering plan". International Telecommunication Union. Retrieved 8 July 2010. 
  4. ^ Admin. (2008). "E.123 : Notation for national and international telephone numbers, e-mail addresses and Web addresses". International Telecommunication Union. Retrieved 8 July 2010. 
  5. ^ a b c NANP Administration System (July 2010). "Planning Letter(s): IL95/12-006". NeuStar, Inc. NANP System administrator. Archived from the original on 28 June 2010. Retrieved 8 July 2010. 
  6. ^ NANP Administrator (4 December 1995). "Introduction of 246 (Barbados) Numbering Plan Area (NPA)". Bellcore. 
  7. ^ Cable and Wireless - Diego Gracia
  8. ^ "Introduction of 246 (Barbados) Numbering Plan Area (NPA) PDF, Bellcore Letter IL-95/12-006
  9. ^ Admin. (2008). "National Numbering Plans". International Telecommunication Union. Archived from the original on 27 July 2010. Retrieved 8 July 2010. 
  10. ^ Barbados Voice over Internet Protocol Policy (VoIP), Barbados Min. of Finance, Investment, Telecommunications and Energy (MFIE) - Telecommunications Unit

External links[edit]

Barbados area codes: 246
North: Caribbean Sea
West: 758, 784 Area code 246 East: Atlantic Ocean
South: 868
Saint Lucia area codes: 758
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines area codes: 784
Trinidad and Tobago area codes: 868