Ofcom looks to guarantee the future supply of telephone numbers

Ofcom have recently announced proposed plans to guarantee and safeguard the supply of landline telephone numbers within the United Kingdom.

The unveiled plan would require a change in how we dial local telephone numbers in order to meet the increasing demand for new phone numbers.

Initially, the scheme will only be rolled out to certain parts of the country where the current supply of telephone numbers is running low. The scheme (if it goes ahead) will not be implemented until the 1st October next year, but five areas have already been proposed to trial the new scheme including Aberdeen, Bradford, Brighton, Middlesbrough and Milton Keynes.

This follows on from the initial test implementation of these plans in Bournemouth last year, where homeowners had to include the local code whilst dialling otherwise they would receive a message asking them to redial. The process was an evident success, leading to the anticipated roll out in further areas.

How does it work?

Due to increased competition and an ever expanding industry, the number of communication providers within the market is constantly increasing. This significant increase has led companies to introduce more competitive measures such as cutting costs to attract new customers who are now more aware and active in searching for lower bills.

As with any market, the laws of supply and demand determine the availability of a product and, with demand for numbers increasing over the past ten years, increased pressure has been put on the supply of the new numbers.

This new policy promises to safeguard the future of supply of telephone numbers by introducing the local code requirement when dialling a landline. What’s more, by implementing these plans now it will hopefully prevent more obtrusive measures being introduced in the future.

Will this affect me?

Unless you are in the specified area these changes will not affect you; and even if you are, changes are not planned to be rolled out till later next year. Plus, do not worry; this change will not have an impact upon your phone bills, the cost to call will remain the same. The only thing you will need to change is adding the local prefix when calling a landline.

Ofcom will announce further information and confirmation on the proposed changes later in the autumn, and here at Windsor we will keep you up to date with the latest news and information once announced.

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