|Oftel consults on new numbering allocation arrangements - 24 March 2003|
A consultation covering the use of telephone numbers under the new EU framework for communications has been published today by Oftel.
Oftel’s draft National Telephone Numbering Plan sets out clear criteria for the use of all types of telephone number. Within the wider framework it will ensure that numbers are used for the precise purpose for which they have been allocated by operators and service providers.
This is essentially a procedural change but it will make it easier for Oftel to ensure in advance that the right numbers get allocated as well as cracking down on scams by unscrupulous operators.
Oftel has also published today draft arrangements on the transfer of calls to numbers that have been switched by customers to different service providers.
David Edmonds, Director General of Telecommunications, said today:
"Telephone numbers underpin all telephony services, so it is essential to have in place a clear set of rules on the allocation and use of telephone numbers by operators and service providers.
"Oftel’s proposals are based on the exist National Telephone Numbering Plan, but we tightening some of the arrangements in order to prevent scams by unscrupulous operators.
"Operators must only use numbers for the purpose for which they have been allocated, and the new arrangements allow Oftel to take swift action to stamp out misuse.
"Consumers can be certain that the charges for different calls are relevant to the type of number they have dialled."
The consultations have been published to comply with the requirements of the new regulatory framework for communications that comes into force on the 25 July this year.
Comments on the consultations issued today should be received at Oftel by 16 May 2003.
Notes to Editors
1. The National Telephone Numbering Plan and Number Portability Functional specification can be found on Oftel's website at www.oftel.gov.uk/publications/numbering . Hard copies are available to the media from Oftel's Press Office, telephone 020 7634 8991, and to the public from Oftel's Research and Information Unit, telephone 020 7634 8761.
2. From 25 July 2003 final versions of these documents will replace the National Numbering Conventions and the existing Functional Specification for Number Portability. These are key parts of the new framework for communications regulations being implemented as required by the EU framework Directives .
The five EU framework Directives are:
The Framework Directive (2002/21/EC) – this provides the overall structure for this new regulatory framework and sets out fundamental rules and objectives which read across all the new directives.
The Authorisation Directive (2002/20/EC) – this establishes a new system whereby any person will be generally authorised to provide communications services and/or networks without prior approval.
The Access Directive (2002/19/EC) – this sets out the terms on which providers may access each others’ networks and services with a view to providing publicly available electronic communications services.
The Universal Service Directive (2002/22/EC) - defines a basic set of services that must be provided to end-users.
The Privacy Directive (2002/58/EC) - establishes users’ rights with regard to the privacy of their communications.
3. The DTI consultation is available from their website at: www.communicationsbill.gov.uk/pdf/Implementation_Con_Doc.pdf