Deathwatch: short telephone numbers

woman on the phone Five areas of the UK are facing a telephone crisis.

People now have to dial the full area code to telephone local homes and businesses – as regulators claim we as a nation ,are running out of landline numbers.

The change, which came into effect on Wednesday, covers Aberdeen (01224), Bradford (01274), Brighton (01273), Middlesbrough (01642) and Milton Keynes (01908).

It now means you have the additional faff of putting in the area code as well as the number. Just like you do on a mobile.

This is a move from that Ofcom to create nearly one million new numbers for these locations.

Ofcom is also planning to implement the same system in Oxford, Slough and Stoke-on-Trent from some point after 2016, and its likely that many more areas will follow in the near future. Among the many other locations under possibility are Swindon, Hull, York, Norwich, Guildford, Warwick Bath and Motherwell.

Add to that, the general palaver of local businesses changing paperwork and letterheads, or having to dial an entire takeaway full number. Beak times. Ofcom cannot allocate local phone numbers where the first digit is 0 or 1. This is because the network computers may confuse the number with other existing dialling codes or with a number reserved for special use.

For example, the system would recognise 07 as a mobile number, 08 as a special rate, or 118 as directory enquiries.

Once consumers are required to use the national code, thousands of new numbers beginning 0 or 1 can be offered to families or businesses. Bournemouth have been at it since 2012. Get them.

A spokesman said: "Requiring landline callers to use the code locally is intended to safeguard the future supply of new landline numbers and avoid the need for more disruptive measures, such as changing existing phone numbers. The supply of new landline numbers also ensures that consumers and businesses continue to enjoy the widest choice of telecoms providers."

"The cost of calls will not be affected, and those who dial without the area code after the change will hear a recorded message asking them to include it. The measure was first implemented in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (the 01202 code area) in November 2012 and the process ran smoothly."

Modern life there ladies and gents.

1 comment

  • Rick
    I do this by default now anyway... I move around so often and use my mobile phone 90% of the time. The few and rare occassions I use a landline the whole shebang gets entered anyway.

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