On July 21, 2000, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ruled that the telephone number 2-1-1 be designated nationwide as the number to call for access to community information and referral services. The FCC stated that there is “sufficient public benefit to justify the use of this scarce public resource”.
As of February 2015, 2-1-1 serves over 291 million Americans – over 93.5% of the entire population – in all 50 states (including 39 states with 100% coverage) plus Washington DC and Puerto Rico. Every few weeks, those numbers increase. In Canada, 2-1-1 currently covers more than 60% of the population.