Home
 » ISP News » 
Sponsored

Ofcom Seeks to Fix Loss of UK Phone Number During Switches

Friday, October 5th, 2018 (3:56 pm) - Score 2,460
confused uk consumer

The UK telecoms regulator, Ofcom, has secured £700,000 from the Government’s new £10m Regulators’ Pioneer Fund in order to fuel a project that will seek to make it even quicker to switch broadband or phone provider, as well as to stop situations where switching may cause you to lose your phone number.

Under the General Condition 18 (GC18) rule consumers are supposed to be able to keep their landline or mobile number when changing provider, except in certain situations. For example, it’s not always possible to keep your fixed line phone number when moving to a completely different physical network or exchange area (house moves etc.).

On top of that the increasing move toward “full fibre” (FTTP / FTTH) and standalone broadband connections (e.g. SOGEA) is starting to mean that consumers may want to retain their number, albeit via a different platform (e.g. shifting the number from a fixed phone line to a VoIP service). Some companies support this but others don’t and there are a fair few technical caveats for certain specific situations.

The good news is that we may finally be getting close to some sort of solution. Behind the scenes several ISPs have been working with Ofcom and the Office of the Telecoms Adjudicator (OTA) to solve this problem for quite a long time and the new funding will help to support that.

Mansoor Hanif, Ofcom’s CTO, said:

“We will be working with industry to explore how blockchain could make it quicker and easier for landline customers to switch providers while keeping their number – as well as reducing nuisance calls. And we’ll expand our research into other areas where innovative technologies such as blockchain could be applied to the benefit of consumers.”

So far as we’re aware this will all be based around a new blockchain using Proof of Concept (PoC) trial from BT and several other participating ISPs. The term blockchain can mean different things to different people, although it usually references some form of shared decentralised database.

Apparently this will foster a new “secure sandbox environment” where voice / phone offering providers (both fixed and mobile) can trial porting and managing telephone numbers using blockchain. This testbed environment will allow users to build interfaces, test business processes and rules, and trial security arrangements. Work will also be conducted on CLI Authentication to counter nuisance/spoof calls.

We suspect it might be awhile longer before any of this turns into a real solution but it’s a promising start toward solving a long running problem.

Add to Diigo
Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
Leave a Comment
6 Responses
  1. Avatar Fabrizio

    I’ve ported my landline number to Vonage to give me total flexibity when switching broadband without the risk of losing the number. Best thing I ever did. I’m considering porting the number from Vonage to Sipgate basic as we never used the phone for outgoing calls as we use both our mobiles since we have unlimited calls on them. I’ll miss the free calls to Canada but again I only call once a month so with the money I save from cancelling Vonage I’ll be able to find a separate operator for those international calls.

    • Avatar chris conder

      Most people still have to pay for a landline in order to get broadband. Having a VoIP one is only useful if you are on a real fibre. Sipgate is the best I have found if you want to keep a mobile contract with lots of free minutes, but vonage is best if you use a landline to call people, and the beauty of the vonage app is that the landline calls come to your mobile wherever you are in the world, for free, on wifi or data, thus meaning you only need a cheap package or payg for the few calls you make via the mobile. For £15 a month all your calls coming in and out are free to mobiles or landlines. And you can make 3 calls at the same time on just one number.
      The snag is you have to keep the old bt number running until you port it to vonage or you lose the number and get a fresh one. Which actually isn’t a bad idea cos it decreases the every growing number of junk calls.

    • Avatar Gareth

      We’ve done the same. Had Vonage for over a year. I think it’s something like £9 a month for unlimited calls to landlines or £12 to include unlimited mobiles too. We have our old normal BT phone plugged into the Vonage box via fibre and it works and sounds exactly like when it was with BT. You also get all the online goodies, like being able to have your landline calls on your mobile when you’re out at no extra cost and blocking numbers. You get a lot for the money.

    • Avatar Bob H

      8 years ago I moved my number to VoIPtalk and I have a Siemens DECT hybrid phone on the landline that came with the broadband.

      Interestingly, this makes me think about number exhaustion from people having multiple numbers. I have one VoIP, one Virgin number I don’t care about but Virgin insist on it for my broadband AND a VDSL broadband number that I don’t even have a phone on. (Yes I have two broadband connections).

      How many people will end up having at least two numbers?

  2. Avatar MikeP

    I wonder – will this fix the issue of numbers being lost when the original number range owner goes bust and their switch(es) are turned off (remember Ionica ??)

  3. Avatar Hixon Group

    Do we have a date for broadband only customers not paying line rental yet?seems a big con to me.

    Great news the process will be simplified for home users worried about losing a telephone number in the process.

Comments RSS Feed

Javascript must be enabled to post (most browsers do this automatically)

Privacy Notice: Please note that news comments are anonymous, which means that we do NOT require you to enter any real personal details to post a message. By clicking to submit a post you agree to storing your comment content, display name, IP, email and / or website details in our database, for as long as the post remains live.

Only the submitted name and comment will be displayed in public, while the rest will be kept private (we will never share this outside of ISPreview, regardless of whether the data is real or fake). This comment system uses submitted IP, email and website address data to spot abuse and spammers. All data is transferred via an encrypted (https secure) session.

NOTE 1: Sometimes your comment might not appear immediately due to site cache (this is cleared every few hours) or it may be caught by automated moderation / anti-spam.

NOTE 2: Comments that break our rules, spam, troll or post via known fake IP/proxy servers may be blocked or removed.
Cheapest Superfast ISPs
  • Hyperoptic £20.00 (*22.00)
    Avg. Speed 50Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Direct Save Telecom £22.95 (*29.95)
    Avg. Speed 35Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Origin Broadband £23.00
    Avg. Speed 35Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Vodafone £23.00
    Avg. Speed 35Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • SSE £23.00 (*33.00)
    Avg. Speed 35Mbps, Unlimited (FUP)
    Gift: None
Prices inc. Line Rental | View All
The Top 20 Category Tags
  1. BT (2485)
  2. FTTP (2134)
  3. FTTC (1643)
  4. Building Digital UK (1588)
  5. Openreach (1399)
  6. Politics (1394)
  7. Business (1221)
  8. Statistics (1086)
  9. FTTH (1038)
  10. Mobile Broadband (1018)
  11. Fibre Optic (963)
  12. Ofcom Regulation (906)
  13. Wireless Internet (892)
  14. 4G (881)
  15. Virgin Media (849)
  16. Sky Broadband (591)
  17. EE (582)
  18. TalkTalk (571)
  19. Vodafone (506)
  20. Security (406)
New Forum Topics
Promotion
Helpful ISP Guides and Tips
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
Sponsored

Copyright © 1999 to Present - ISPreview.co.uk - All Rights Reserved - Terms , Privacy and Cookie Policy , Links , Website Rules , Contact