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Area code 976 is not a standard geographic area code within the North American Numbering Plan (NANP). Instead, it has a specific and unique application. Premium-Rate Telephone Numbers: Area code 976 is used for premium-rate telephone services in the United States and Canada. Calls to 976 numbers are charged at higher rates than regular calls, and these charges are typically billed directly to the caller's phone bill. Various Applications: Historically, 976 numbers have been used for a variety of services, including entertainment, adult content, and information services like weather or sports updates. They have also been used for televoting (voting by telephone) and other interactive services. Regulation and Usage: Due to concerns about high costs and potential abuses, the use of 976 numbers has been heavily regulated. Consumer protection measures, such as mandatory cost disclosures and the ability to block these numbers, have been implemented. The rise of the internet and alternative technologies has also led to a decline in the use of 976 numbers for information and entertainment services. In summary, area code 976 serves a special function in the NANP, catering to businesses and services that require a premium-rate calling option. While it has played a notable role in providing various telecommunication services, changes in technology and consumer protection concerns have influenced its usage patterns over time.
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