Area code 700
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Area code 700 of the North American Numbering Plan is reserved for carrier-specific number assignments to special services or destinations. It was introduced in 1983 in anticipation of the introduction of long distance competition in the US.
The area code was intended for presubscribing telephone numbers to particular interexchange carriers. Numbers in this area code are exclusive to the specific carrier, so the destination of a given number in 700 may be different for each carrier. Almost all of the early '700-offerings have faded into history, due to a combination of confusion, blocking of calls to them by many businesses worried about high-charge phone calls, and many alternative services.
The number 700-555-4141 is provided by all carriers who implement the area code. It plays a recording identifying the carrier handling long distance and international calls. While this does not work with most cellular and VOIP systems this identification may help traditional land line consumers who have been slammed into a new carrier.
The intent was that interexchange carriers could use 700 numbers to implement new services quickly. When a 700 number is dialed, the local exchange carrier processing the call routes it to the presubscribed interexchange carrier, unless the caller has overridden presubscription by dialing 101XXXX before the number. Thus each interexchange carrier has access to all 7.92 million 700 numbers. 700 numbers are different from all other North American Numbering Plan numbers because the destinations are not unique, and, in fact, depend on the network the caller has selected.
In 1992 AT&T introduced a 700 number service branded as AT&T EasyReach 700. It allowed subscribers to forward calls to their 700 number to any domestic phone number. It allowed either the caller or the subscriber to pay for the incoming calls. If the caller was calling from a phone not pre-subscribed to AT&T as its IXC, the caller was required to dial 10-ATT prior to dialing the 700 number. This service has since been discontinued.
Some carriers have made use of the carrier-specific nature of area code 700 to offer telephony-based services to their subscribers, dialable via ordinary telephones. For example, Vonage has provided weather information with (700) WEATHER (700-932-8437).
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- "When Your Preferred Telephone Company Is Switched Without Your Permission - "Slamming"". Federal Communications Commission. Archived from the original on 15 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-28.
- "The 700 Club - TIME". TIME. 1992-05-11. Retrieved 2009-09-04.