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Phone number changes coming again

Community Veteran
Posts: 38,251
Thanks: 937
Fixes: 56
Registered: 15-06-2007

Phone number changes coming again

http://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/news/8838167.Bournemouth_and_Poole_phone_users_may_have_to_use_area...
Quote
PHONE users in the Bournemouth and Poole area could have to dial the 01202 area code in future even when calling their neighbours.
Industry regulator Ofcom is consulting over plans to ensure that new phone numbers continue to be available in all parts of the UK.
People in some areas, including those covered by the 01202 code, would have to use area codes even when making local calls.
The move would not affect the price of a call.
Ofcom says its consumer research suggests its plan is the least disruptive way of making more numbers available.
The 01202 area would be one of the first to be affected, with the new system being phased in from around 2013.
Ofcom is holding a public meeting on Wednesday March 2, 11am, at the council chamber in Bournemouth Town Hall. Experts will set out the proposals, with an opportunity for residents and businesses to ask questions.
The regulator has to allocate phone numbers to around 300 phone providers.
At the moment, it cannot create phone numbers in which the first digit after the area code is 0 or 1, because the network can confuse the number with other dialling codes or numbers reserved for services such as directory enquiries.
Requiring customers to use phone numbers would avoid the confusion and allow Ofcom to allocate numbers beginning with 0 or 1.
17 REPLIES
johpal
Grafter
Posts: 550
Registered: 20-04-2008

Re: Phone number changes coming again

Strange, isn't it, that in North America, with its vast number of 'phones, faxes, etc. they have retained a simple three-digit area code, followed by a three-digit exchange code and finally a four-digit subscriber number, without the hassle of a "Phone Day" and numerous other changes over the years? My local exchange used to have four-digit numbers, then became a six-digit Sheffield number, before the code for Sheffield was changed (0742 to 0114) and became a seven-digit number.
BT? Sheesh!  Crazy
itsme
Grafter
Posts: 5,924
Thanks: 1
Registered: 07-04-2007

Re: Phone number changes coming again

With a 4 digit subscriber number then an exchange can only have 9,999 lines. As in the early days of telephony the systems used in the USA and the UK would have been the same. The main difference is the geographical size so the USA would have had more exchanges per number of users than the UK. i.e population density. So it could just be more of a fortunate outcome then planning. 
Community Veteran
Posts: 18,545
Thanks: 191
Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: Phone number changes coming again

I know from personal experience that as the numbers in the US become overloaded they simply create another area code and move blocks of users over to it.  This happened to me about 2 years ago.
Community Veteran
Posts: 13,923
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Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Phone number changes coming again

For some reason this reminds me of the IPv4 problem Wink
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
itsme
Grafter
Posts: 5,924
Thanks: 1
Registered: 07-04-2007

Re: Phone number changes coming again

Neither as costly as the millennium bug and there was plenty of warning for this.
Community Veteran
Posts: 16,836
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Registered: 06-11-2007

Re: Phone number changes coming again

Just wondering...... I am on BT.... I get free 01, 02, 03 calls...... etc... but wonder if I am charged a "local call" if I just dial the "local exchange" (shortened  dialling of 02 number) 
e.g.... Portsmouth numbers are 023 92... 259 xxx  so this would be a free call..... but if I dial 92 259 xxx is that charged?
Undecided
itsme
Grafter
Posts: 5,924
Thanks: 1
Registered: 07-04-2007

Re: Phone number changes coming again

For geographical numbers Local and National no longer exist and call plans state free landline calls. Local and National only apply to NTS numbers and none of these will start 01, 02 and 03
Community Veteran
Posts: 16,836
Thanks: 1,124
Fixes: 13
Registered: 06-11-2007

Re: Phone number changes coming again

so .... with ref to the above..... is 92 dialling code "geographical"  ? ? ?  or "local" ? ? ?
and this from the "Calling plan" on BT that I am on...
Quote

Things you need to know:
Unlimited UK landline calls are for up to an hour to numbers beginning 01, 02 and 03, after which pence per minute rates apply.

I do not see a reference there, to say that "local" calls,...  ....  i.e. dialling  92 259 xxx  ..... are not charged for...
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Phone number changes coming again

the wording is the same on PN, and my main local numbers start with 3 or 5  and I have never been charged for them
itsme
Grafter
Posts: 5,924
Thanks: 1
Registered: 07-04-2007

Re: Phone number changes coming again

Just because you dialled 92 259 xxx does not change the telephone number which is 023 92 259 xxx
gswindale
Grafter
Posts: 942
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Phone number changes coming again

I've always dialled the full number - makes life easier as if you're out and about you don't need to think when using another landline as to whether you're in the same area code or not.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,850
Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: Phone number changes coming again

bt too dumb to think up a better system, one that won't need tinkering with yet again?  area codes work to keep the states in spare digits.  could bt not adopt something similar.
why do we even need phone numbers?  have we not the wit to design a system that can accommodate any number of users?  can we not now use letters as well as numbers and even symbols?  each of us can have an unique identifier similar to the number on our birth certificates.  that system seems open-ended.
will bt offer compensation for all the re-printing necessary?  unlikely.
they own too much of the system.  it amounts to a monopoly.
itsme
Grafter
Posts: 5,924
Thanks: 1
Registered: 07-04-2007

Re: Phone number changes coming again

I believe if you do a little research BT does not control the issue of telephone numbers and  if you read what Oldjim have posted you will see that the regulator has to allocate numbers to 300 providers. Ofcom want to use 0xxxxx and 1xxxxxx to make more numbers available but the use of these have technical issues if dialled as a local number. So what Ofcom with it's consumer research to see if dialling the full STD is acceptable. I for one would say this is a better option as no reprinting of stationary will be required. 
alanf
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 1,931
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Registered: 17-10-2007

Re: Phone number changes coming again

As people are used to dialling full numbers (or at least storing the full number in memory) when using mobile phones I don't suppose it would be a great hardship to do the same from a home phone.
Many people and businesses are mistaken in what they think are their exchange codes anyway (e.g. Londoners who quote 0207 xxx xxxx and 0208 xxx xxxx instead of 020 xxxx xxxx).