Changes proposed to protect future supply of local landline numbers

telephoneDue to supply shortages of landline numbers in parts of the UK, Ofcom has proposed plans to change the way people dial local numbers in order to free up new numbers.

In the plans, people in Aberdeen, Bradford, Brighton, Middlesbrough and Milton Keynes will have to include the area code when dialling a local number from a landline, something which is currently not required.

By allowing for local numbers to be dialled without the area code, Ofcom is unable to distribute local numbers beginning with a zero or a one.

In a statement released earlier today, the telecoms regulator said, “By requiring the area code to be dialled, Ofcom hopes to safeguard the future supply of landline numbers and avoid the need for more disruptive measures, such as changing existing phone numbers.”

The reason for the shortage of numbers is the increased demand and pressure on the supply of new phone numbers through the significant increase in the number of communications providers over the last ten years and the competition that has been generated from this.

Promising that the change would not cause any disruption, Ofcom said, “The cost of calls would not be affected, and those who dial without the area code after the change would hear a recorded message asking them to include it.”

Last year the measure was tested in Bournemouth, and after the success of the change, Ofcom have decided to roll out the plan to other parts of the UK to protect the future supply of geographic numbers.

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