Automatic number announcement circuit

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An automatic number announcement circuit (ANAC) is a component of a central office of a telephone company that provides a service to installation and service technicians to determine the telephone number of a line. The facility has a telephone number that may be called to listen to an automatic announcement that includes the caller's telephone number.

The ANAC number is useful primarily during the installation of landline telephones to quickly identify one of multiple lines.

Operation[edit]

A technician calls the local telephone number of the automatic number announcement service. This call is connected to equipment at a local central office that uses a voice synthesizer or digital samples to announce the telephone number of the line calling in. The main purpose of this system is to allow telephone company technicians to identify the telephone line they are connected to.

Automatic number announcement systems are based on automatic number identification, and meant for phone company technicians, the ANAC system works with unlisted numbers, numbers with caller ID blocking, and numbers with no outgoing calls allowed. Installers of multi-line business services where outgoing calls from all lines display the company's main number on call display can use ANAC to identify a specific line in the system, even if CID displays every line as "line one".

Some ANACs are very regional or local in scope, while others are state-/province- or area-code-wide: there appears to be no consistent national system for them. Most are provider-specific. Every telephone company, whether large or small, determines its own ANAC for each individual central office, which tends to perpetuate the current situation of a mess of overlapping and/or spotty areas of coverage.[1] No official lists of ANAC numbers are published as telephone companies believe overuse of these numbers could make them more likely to be busy when needed by installers.[2]

958 local test exchanges[edit]

Under the North American Numbering Plan, almost all North American area codes reserve telephone numbers beginning with 958 and 959 for internal local and long distance testing (respectively), sometimes called plant testing. (One exception is Winnipeg, which reserves 959 only). Numbers within this block are used for various test utilities such as a ringback number (to test the ringer when installing telephone sets), milliwatt tone (a number simply answers with a continuous test tone) and a loop around (which connects a call to another inbound call to the same or another test number). ANAC numbers can also appear in the 958 range, but there is no requirement that they reside there.

In some area codes, multiple additional prefixes had been reserved for test purposes, in addition to the standard 958 and 959. Many area codes reserved 999; 320 was also formerly reserved in Bell Canada territory. As widespread inefficiencies in numbering (such as the assignment of entire blocks of 10000 numbers to every competing carrier in every small village to support local number portability schemes) have created shortages of available numbers, these prefixes are often "reclaimed" and issued as standard exchanges, moving the handful of numbers in them to one standard test exchange (usually 958).

Some carriers have been known to disable payphone calls to 958 or 959 test lines, such as Bell Canada's system-wide ANAC line at (area code) 958-2580. Conversely, a standard line on which voice service has been unsubscribed (such as an ADSL dry loop) may still accept calls to the 958 test exchange but not allow calls to standard numbers. This "soft disconnect" condition is intended to allow calls to 9-1-1 emergency services and to the telco business office to order telephone service, but to no other numbers.

Tollfree numbers[edit]

Some large telephone companies have toll-free numbers set up. In most cases, these numbers remain undisclosed to prevent abuse, but MCI maintains this widely published, toll-free ANAC: 1-800-437-7950. This is distinct from technical support and other lines which use ANI so that a computer can automatically display the customer's account on a "screen pop" for the next available customer service representative: the MCI number is intended specifically for ANAC use.

Formerly, some companies changed their ANAC number every month for secrecy; this is still the case with a few numbers. In one example of this concern, most payphones in the United States are assigned a telephone number and can ring if the number is called. The phone can then be used to make and receive calls by anyone, making it a potential tool in anonymous criminal activity such as narcotics trafficking.[disputed ] Where a payphone does not have any number listed on the unit, the number can be discovered by calling an ANAC service.

Late in the 20th century, caller ID and prepaid cellphone service became commonplace. These services being more easily exploited for criminal purposes, this type of abuse of payphones faded from concern. In Canada, this behaviour has always been more difficult. As a matter of course, incoming calls to payphones are disabled; furthermore, the Bell ANAC number is also disabled (although the telephone number is marked on the payphone itself as it is needed to report a non-working coin phone to 6-1-1 repair service).

There are some private national toll-free numbers that use ANI and then have a computer read back the number that is calling, but these are not intended for use in identifying the customer's own phone number. They are used in order for the agent in the call center to confirm the phone the customer is calling from, so that a computer can automatically display the customer's account on a "screen pop" for the next available customer service representative; they are distinct from purpose-made toll-free ANAC numbers. Regardless, if one were to call one of these numbers, listen for the number confirmation and hang up, they would in effect be using this system as if it were an ANAC.

One such toll-free service is one owned by MCI - 1-800-444-4444. This number (US only) is easy to remember and, when called, will read back the number after a very short message.[3] A suspended (out of service) line or an incoming only line would not be able to reach any toll-free numbers.

ANAC numbers[edit]

These numbers appear on various lists circulated on-line, many from the 1980s and 1990s. Most were published years ago by Phrack, 2600 Magazine, the alt.2600 Usenet newsgroup[4] (as part of the FAQ) or phone phreaks and are now hopelessly outdated. The information is not reliable, as numbers change often. Many of the listed numbers no longer work.

The list is presented by area code, number and location. In some regions, there are several numbers, depending on the telephone company or the area code of the caller, as there can be several central offices serving some areas.

United States[edit]

The North American Numbering Plan reserves 958-XXXX and 1-NPA-959-XXXX for local and long-distance test numbers in almost all USA and Canadian area codes.

Frequently, a prefix outside the 958 or 959 range (such as 200, 997, 998, 999) was also listed as a test exchange, only to be reclaimed and issued as a block of standard numbers at a later date. NANPA's utilised codes report will indicate 'UA' (unassignable) for valid test prefixes; if a formerly 'UA' code newly appears on the available list or becomes an active exchange, any former test numbers from its time as a reserved prefix are presumed invalid and deprecated. N11 prefixes such as 211, 311 and 511 are also disappearing as test numbers as these codes are reassigned to local services such as city, community or highway information.

958, 959 test prefixes
The standard location for test numbers in most NANP area codes, although specific local numbers vary. 1-NPA-959 traditionally contained long-distance test numbers, but this convention is often ignored; AT&T's 959-1122 and GTE (Verizon)'s 959-1114 are local. Some area codes will flag additional codes as 'UA' or unassignable, in some cases reserving them for test numbers.

A few commonly-used 958 or 959 numbers for major incumbent landline carriers:

  • 958, as a three-digit number in many former NYNEX/Bell Atlantic areas, now Verizon or FairPoint (207 ME, 212 NY, 215 PA, 315 NY, 413 MA, 508 MA, 516 NY, 603 NH, 609 NJ, 610 PA, 617 MA, 718 NY, 732 NJ, 856 NJ, 958 NJ)
  • 959-1114 Verizon, for all former GTE points in California (area codes 310, 714, 760, 805); also Southwestern VA (276), Farmersburg/North Terre Haute/South Terre Haute/Riley IN (812) and Durham, NC (919)
  • 959-1122 PacBell (AT&T), all points (California area codes 209, 213, 310, 408, 415, 510, 530, 619, 650, 714, 760, 805, 831, 909, 916 and 925)
  • 959-1122 Southwestern Bell (AT&T), (417 MO, 620 KS, 816 MO, 913 KS, 817 TX, 972 TX and 682 TX)

Numbers otherwise vary arbitrarily by locality:

  • 216: 959-9892 Akron/Canton/Cleveland/Lorain/Youngstown, OH
  • 301: 958-9968 Hagerstown/Rockville, MD
  • 309: 959-1114 Central IL (Frontier, Ex-Verizon)
  • 309: 959-9833 Quad City IA/IL Area (AT&T)
  • 412: 959-1114 Pittsburgh PA (Verizon)
  • 503: 958 Portland, OR (CLEC, MCIMetro ATS)
  • 602/623/480: 958-7847 Phoenix Metro Area (Qwest)
  • 610: 958-4100 Allentown/Reading, PA
  • 717: 958 Harrisburg/Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, PA <CenturyLink: "Sorry but your call can not be completed">
  • 724: 959-1114 Pittsburgh PA (Verizon)
  • 787: 787-959-1240 Puerto Rico (PRTC)
  • 787: 787-959-1250 Puerto Rico (PRTC)
  • 805: 959-1123 Bakersfield/San Luis Obispo, CA (?) (Returns DTMF Tones)
  • 814: 958-2111 Cresson, PA
  • 850: 959-3111 Tallahassee, FL
  • 860: 959-9822 Connecticut
  • 919: 959-1031 Raleigh/Cary/Apex, NC area. (BellSouth/AT&T) Dial as 7-digits.[5]
  • 919: 959-1041 Raleigh/Cary/Apex, NC area. (BellSouth/AT&T) Dial as 7-digits.[5]
  • 970: 958-(any 4 digits) Greeley, CO (Qwest)
  • 973: 973-959-3111 Northern NJ (Centurylink)
Other regionally unassignable (UA) test prefixes
These are slowly dying; as each reservation consumes a block of 10000 numbers, the prefixes are increasingly being recovered for use as regular exchange codes and the test numbers moved (usually) to 958-XXXX. If the number is active for test, the prefix listed (often 200, 990, 997, 998, 999) remains within a block currently marked by NANPA.com as unassignable[6] in the one specified area code. These test numbers will be shut down before the 'UA' flag is removed, the prefix made available[7] or reassigned as a standard exchange.
  • 210: 830 Brownsville/Laredo/San Antonio, TX
  • 214: 970-222-2222 Dallas, TX (Southwestern Bell)
  • 214: 970-611-1111 Dallas, TX (Southwestern Bell)
  • 312: 200 Chicago, IL (Ameritech)
  • 313: 200-200-2002 Ann Arbor/Dearborn/Detroit, MI
  • 313: 200-222-2222 Ann Arbor/Dearborn/Detroit, MI
  • 313: 200-200-200-200-200 Ann Arbor/Dearborn/Detroit, MI
  • 315: 998 Syracuse/Utica, NY
  • 412: 975 Pittsburgh, PA (Verizon)
  • 508: 200-222-1234 Fall River/New Bedford/Worcester, MA
  • 508: 200-222-2222 Fall River/New Bedford/Worcester, MA
  • 508: 260-11 Fall River/New Bedford/Worcester, MA (Verizon)
  • 512: 830 Austin/Corpus Christi, TX
  • 513: 380-55555555 Cincinnati/Dayton, OH
  • 518: 997 Albany/Schenectady/Troy, NY
  • 518: 998 Albany/Schenectady/Troy, NY
  • 607: 993 Binghamton/Elmira, NY
  • 617: 200-222-1234 Boston, MA
  • 617: 200-222-2222 Boston, MA
  • 617: 200-444-4444 Boston, MA (Woburn, MA)
  • 617: 220 Boston, MA (Verizon)
  • 617: 220-2622 Boston, MA (Verizon)
  • 618: 930 Alton/Cairo/Mt. Vernon, IL
  • 724: 975 Pittsburgh, PA (Verizon)
  • 781: 200-222-2222 Boston, MA
  • 810: 200-200-200-200-200 Flint/Pontiac/Southfield/Troy, MI
  • 817: 970-611-1111 Ft. Worth/Waco, TX (Southwestern Bell)
  • 817: 970-1234 Ft. Worth, TX (AT&T / SBC)
  • 914: 990-1111 Peekskill/Poughkeepsie/White Plains/Yonkers, NY
Vertical service codes, carrier-specific
Most vertical service codes are activated with #, * or a leading 11- and are internal to an individual landline or wireless carrier. This block mostly contains codes to activate or deactivate features such as call forwarding, but rarely a test number may appear in this set.
  • 515: 552# Des Moines Metro Area (CLEC), IA
  • 434: 118 Charlottesville, VA <Verified 08/06/2013>
  • 732: *99 Central New Jersey (Optimum Phone Service)
  • 802: 111-2222 Vermont
  • 909: 111 Riverside/San Bernardino Counties, CA (GTE) <This is the GT Ringback/TT code, no ID here>
  • 909: 114 and 959-1114 Ontario/Pomona/San Bernardino, CA (Current for all GTE switches in CA)
  • 914: *99 Westchester County, NY (Cablevision/Optimum Voice)
Long distance carrier-specific
Area code 700 is reserved for carrier-specific numbers operated by interstate long distance providers, such as AT&T. With the exception of 1-700-555-4141 (which identifies the default interexchange carrier on a line), all of these are LD carrier-specific. Area code 700 is therefore rarely used.
Area code 1-200
There is no non-geographic area code 200, although exchange 1-NPA-200-XXXX now exists in many local area codes (if it has not been explicitly reserved). The 1-200 area has occasionally been used as an unused space in which to place test numbers, but is rare as in most communities a 1- indicates a long-distance trunk call.
  • 312: 1-200-555-1212 Chicago, IL
  • 312: 1-200-8825 Chicago, IL (Last Four Change Rapidly)
  • 708: 1-200-555-1212 Chicago/Elgin, IL
  • 708: 1-200-8825 Chicago/Elgin, IL (Last Four Change Rapidly)
  • 906: 1-200-222-2222 Marquette/Sault Ste. Marie, MI
Local numbers
These are regular numbers within valid local exchanges in the communities listed. Many belong to competitive local exchange carriers or independent telephone company exchanges. Supposedly, a test call gives an automatic announcement. Some may announce caller ID instead of ANI; these will incur a toll (if they work at all) for calls outside their home area. These are unverified; there is a risk these will be reassigned to individual subscribers:
  • 209: 888-6945 Stockton, CA (Reads ANAC and CNAM) (out of service, returns false answer supervision 2014)
  • 334: 557-2311 Montgomery, AL (CLEC) (no answer, 2014)
  • 334: 557-2411 Montgomery, AL (CLEC) (busy/no answer, 2013)
  • 503: 266-1021 Canby-Needy, OR (Canby Telephone Association, independent, returns ANI)
  • 503: 697-0053 Clackamas/Lake Oswego, OR (Qwest, returns Caller ID)
  • 505: 243-0049 Albuquerque, NM (Quest, returns Caller ID)
  • 515: 280-1241 Des Moines, IA (Qwest, returns Caller ID)
  • 541: 330-0024 Bend, OR (Qwest)
  • 561: 364-1781 Boynton Beach, FL (Bellsouth, West Palm Beach/Jupiter/Juno Beach, returns Caller ID)
  • 570: 674-0086 Dallas, PA (Frontier/Commonwealth Telephone)
  • 602: 253-0227 Phoenix, AZ (Qwest)
  • 608: 884-1206 Edgerton, WI (Frontier North, returns Caller ID)
  • 702: 889-4579 Las Vegas, NV (CenturyLink) (no answer, 2014)
  • 806: 863-9999 Woodrow, TX (South Plains Telephone Co-Op)
  • 812: 462-1218 Terre Haute, IN (Frontier North) <Verified 10/09/12> (no answer, 2014)
N-1-1 numbers
These are mostly dead, except in rare locations where some of the standard information numbers (2-1-1 through 8-1-1) have not yet been assigned to their usual function. The corresponding test number will stop working when 2-1-1 becomes community info, 3-1-1 becomes city or county hall, 4-1-1 becomes directory info or 5-1-1 provides highway conditions, for instance. With rare exception, one should not expect these numbers to be valid.
  • 402: 311 Lincoln, NE <Verified 05/09/2006>
  • 410: 811 Annapolis/Baltimore, MD
  • 419: 311 Toledo, OH
  • 434: 311 Danville, VA (Verizon)
  • 501: 511 Arkansas
  • 503: 611 Portland, OR
  • 515: 811 Des Moines, IA
  • 540: 311 Roanoke, VA (GTE)
  • 703: 811 Alexandria/Arlington/Roanoke, VA
  • 713: 811 Humble, TX
  • 810: 311 Pontiac/Southfield/Troy, MI
  • 907: 811 Alaska
  • 908: 311-MMYY Northern NJ (Embarq, now CenturyTel) (MMYY is current Month/Year)

US toll-free[edit]

Please note that it is always preferable to call the local ANAC; only if the local ANAC number can not be called is it advisable to call a toll-free ANAC number. It is also preferable to call an open ANAC rather than the password-protected one given below.

  • 1-800-444-4444 MCI ANAC (no input needed)
  • 1-800-437-7950 MCI ANAC (no input needed)
  • 1-800-223-1104 PASSWORD-PROTECTED ANAC
  • 1-855-343-2255 TracFone ANAC (press 1 for English)


The below numbers are not true ANAC numbers; however, they do read back one's phone number. These numbers provide valuable services to the customers they serve; it is, therefore, inadvisable to misuse them.

  • 1-800-225-5313 BANK OF SOUTH SIDE VIRGINIA, FRAUD DEPT (press 1)
  • 1-800-225-5214 NATIONAL CAPITAL BANK OF WASHINGTON, FRAUD DEPT (press 1)
  • 1-800-444-2222 MCI customer service (business)
  • 1-800-444-3333 MCI customer service (residential)
  • 1-800-314-4258, 1-800-333-3232, 1-800-444-0800, 1-800-444-4444 and 1-888-624-9266 (press 2 at prompt) are also often listed as MCI customer service.

Canada[edit]

The current use of exchange prefixes for each area code is listed by CNAC;[8] if an exchange changes from "plant test" to reclaimed or active, any former test numbers with the associated prefix are invalidated. Commonly-used test numbers for major carriers include:

  • 555-0311 Rogers (403 Alberta, 519 613 Ontario)
  • 958-2580 Bell Canada (519 613 705 905 Ontario, 450 418 438 514 579 581 819 873 Quebec)
  • 958-ANAC (958-2622) Bell Canada (416 Toronto)
  • 958-6111 Telus landline (403 780 Alberta, 250 BC)
  • 958-6111 Shaw Cable (204 MB, questionable as 1-204-958 is a standard MTS landline exchange)
  • 959-4444 Manitoba Telecom Services (204 MB) (959 is used as 958 is a regular Winnipeg exchange, not a test prefix)

Additional plant test codes may be in use locally in some areas:

  • 403: 555-0311 Alberta (GroupTel - may work in other parts of Canada - untested)
  • 604: 1116 British Columbia (Telus)
  • 604: 1211 British Columbia (Telus)
  • 819: 959-1135 Most of Outaouais region (Bell Canada)

Occasionally, a number in an existing, standard local exchange in the area is used. These will incur a toll (and might not work) outside their home area. Some may be announcing caller ID, which is not the same as ANI. As standard local calls, they are not accessible from ADSL "dry loop", inbound-only or unsubscribed lines:

  • 403: 705-0311 Calgary, Alberta (Allstream - gives "call cannot be completed as dialled" in other parts of Canada, identifying as Allstream)
  • 416: 477-0034 Toronto, Ontario (Fibernetics - verified August 1, 2012)
  • 416: 477-0035 Toronto, Ontario (Fibernetics - verified August 1, 2012)
  • 416: 981-0001 Toronto, Ontario (verified July 1, 2010)
  • 418: 380-0099 Quebec City (Vidéotron - verified January 1, 2014)
  • 867: 873-0000 Yellowknife, NWT (Northwestel - verified October 9, 2012)
  • 905: 310-3789 Mississauga, ON (Now no longer includes loop line or ringback. In NPAs where Bell Canada is incumbent, 310-xxxx is assigned as a pseudo-tollfree exchange which may be called at local call rates from an entire area code.)

In Bell Canada territory, +1-areacode-320 was formerly reserved for 320-xxxx test numbers; these were moved to the 958-xxxx range and 320-xxxx reclaimed for use as a standard exchange. The use of N11 prefixes (such as 3-1-1) for test numbers is also deprecated as 3-1-1 now often reaches city hall or municipal services while 2-1-1 is local community information.

Some lists erroneously mention 1-555-1313 as ANAC (506 New Brunswick). The purpose of +1-areacode-555-1313, a pay-per-use "name that number" reverse lookup information service introduced in the mid-1990s, differs from ANAC. ANAC announces the caller's own number; the reverse lookup gives the directory name for a listed telephone number input by the user. 555-1313 is one of the rare uses of 555 (telephone number) for other than the standard 555-1212 directory information line.

United Kingdom[edit]

  • 17070, BT Linetest Facilities
  • 0208 759 9036, same recording as 17070 but useful on LLU and cable lines where 17070's functionality is limited. Not usable on mobiles.
  • 08081707788, it does have a long introductory message, but it is useful on COCOTs which have 17070 barred.
  • 18866, Same recording as 08081707788 but a shorter number to remember.
  • 020 81 803 803, Same recording as 08081707788. These numbers are set up by a company offering low charge calls in the UK, these numbers are meant to be used as a sort of operator routed through in order to qualify for these cheap calls. However, if the phone these numbers are dialled from is already registered with this company it will not announce the number.

Ireland[edit]

  • 19 9000

This service announces the line number on all Eircom lines, including lines where calls are carried by another provider using carrier preselect. The same number also works for Smart Telecom lines provided by local-loop unbundling.

The number is called out without the leading 0. For example, 021 XXX XXXX is read back as "21 XXX XXXX".

There is also an extended ANAC service for identifying which carrier handles calls. Dialling these numbers will cause the local switch to announce which carrier the calls are being routed through for a specific category of calls.

  • 19 800 - International calls
  • 19 822 - Local calls
  • 19 801 - Calls to other parts of the Republic of Ireland, Irish mobile numbers and to landlines in Northern Ireland.

Israel[edit]

  • 110

Australia[edit]

  • 127 22 123
  • 1800 801 920

New Zealand[edit]

  • 1956 or 0(8)320-1231 area code & number
  • 1957 or 0(8)320-1234 local number

Subscribers may also dial +64-8-320-1231 from overseas to test if the (CPN) Caller ID number is being passed on to New Zealand; this should announce the area code and local number as it appears on call display.

South Africa[edit]

  • +27 21 405 9111 Cape Town ANAC
  • +27 21 405 9116 Cape Town ANAC with callback

See also[edit]

References[edit]