According to this C|Net article, “Federal agencies estimate that [we’ll] run out of 10-digit [phone] numbers, which include area codes, by 2025.”
The article doesn’t say who “Federal agencies” are, and they like to point the finger at VoIP as a “problem child” in the phone number problem. The real problem here is cell phones… Not too long ago families had one phone number, their home landline. Now you’ve got that one, maybe a fax line, and two or three cell phones, plus a dedicated number to your desk at work.
So here’s my plan… via advanced technology we have personal phone numbers (basically, each person gets their own single phone number). That number then uses technology to track you down, whether at home or mobile (via your VoIP, cellular, or landline phone, which has a REALLY big device ID number). If you’re at work, your personal number would call-follow you to your company’s PBX (or whatever) number and pass off your extension. If it’s a fax, the system will direct it to a fax receipt system (which could print out on a printer or fax machine near your desk, or be delivered to your email address(es) via .PDF file attachment. Companies (since they are “entities”) only get one phone number, they’ll have to use extensions or such to get to a person inside the company, or to another location.
Just a thought.