We are reviewing the rules governing non-geographic calls services delivered to consumers using telephone numbers beginning with 03, 070, 08, 09 and 118.
Under the Communications Act, Ofcom creates and defines these number ranges through our responsibility for the maintenance and development of the National Telephone Numbering Plan and responsibilities with respect to telecommunication systems regulations and dispute resolution.
Using these telephone numbers, a wide range of services are offered to callers (consumers) and to public and private organisations who receive calls. Delivering these services involves a diverse set of participants , joined in complex commercial relationships that have been shaped by, amongst other things, regulation.
We want to consider whether and if so how regulation might need to be adapted or reduced, in the interests of consumers. We want any reform to enhance (or at least preserve) the features consumers value, and encourage new services for the benefit of consumers.
This 'Call for Inputs' asks for views, from all interested parties including consumers, about the main issues relating to non-geographic numbers before developing our detailed options and proposals. The responses we receive will help us identify the issues and frame our thinking and approach to addressing them. We, therefore, urge all respondents to be as full and frank as possible in responding to this call for inputs.
As well as calling for inputs, we are reviewing existing approaches (our own and others) and surveying consumers (callers) to understand how and why they value (or do not value) these services. We are also gathering information on the technical and financial structure of the markets via requests for information through our formal powers and targeted questions to stakeholders at different points in the value chain.
Once we have reviewed all the information and views, we plan to publish our analysis and our proposals, in the autumn.