070 numbers are designed to be used for personal or ‘follow-me’ services. When someone calls a 070 number, their communications provider pays a wholesale termination charge to the 070 service provider for the call to reach the recipient. The caller is then charged a retail price by their communications provider for making that call.
Communications providers who hold 070 numbers can set high wholesale termination rates for calls made to their numbers. This harms consumers, as it leads to high retail prices. Consumers are generally unable to distinguish 070 numbers from calls made to mobile numbers (which begin with ‘07x’ and are much cheaper to call), resulting in ‘bill shock’. In addition, high wholesale termination rates provide incentives for the fraudulent misuse of 070 numbers. This has contributed to the 070 number range gaining a poor reputation. This draft statement sets out how we plan to address these concerns.
We published a consultation in December 2017 outlining our proposals for regulating this market. The consultation formed part of the Call Cost Review, announced in May 2017.
This draft statement is today being sent to the European Commission for their review. Once the European Commission has reviewed the proposal and offered any comments, we will, subject to those comments, publish a final statement to bring our decisions into effect.