Telephone Numbering - Proposals for modifications to the National Telephone Numbering Plan, General Condition 17 and the telephone number application forms within existing numbering policy
- Start: 31 August 2010
- Status: Statement published
- End: 08 October 2010
This statement sets out Ofcom's decision to modify the documents that we publish in order to fulfil our duties in relation to telephone numbering in Part 2 of the Communications Act 2003 ('the Act').
We set out our proposals to modify these documents in two recent consultations:
- Telephone Numbering: Proposals for modifications to the National Telephone Numbering Plan, General Condition 17 and the telephone number application forms within existing numbering policy, published 31 August 2010 ('the August Consultation'); and
- Changes to the Numbering Plan: A proposal for modifications to the National Telephone Numbering Plan to facilitate the increase in VAT from January 2011, published 22 October 2010 ('the October Consultation').
The modifications are being made to ensure that the documents are accurate and reflect current numbering policy in a consistent manner. No changes to policy or administrative measures have been made and the modifications only directly relate to communications providers ('CPs') applying for the allocation of telephone numbers, the adoption of those numbers and how the maximum retail prices of certain non-geographic numbers are presented in the National Telephone Numbering Plan ('the Numbering Plan').
The modifications are being made to the following documents, known collectively as 'the Numbering Documents':
- the Numbering Plan, which sets out telephone numbers available for allocation and any restrictions on their adoption or use;
- General Condition of Entitlement 17 ('the Numbering Condition'), which sets out general requirements relating to the allocation, adoption and use of telephone numbers, plus its annex, which sets out telephone numbers available for use or adoption in accordance with their designation; and
- the telephone number application forms ('the Numbering Application Forms'), which CPs must complete when applying for the allocation of telephone numbers from Ofcom.
The modifications to the Numbering Documents relate to:
- presenting the maximum retail prices of certain non-geographic number ranges exclusive of VAT in the Numbering Plan in advance of the increase in VAT to 20 per cent from 4 January 2011;
- the addition of new numbers within existing designated numbering resource;
- amendments to definitions;
- deletion of obsolete text and numbers;
- the correction of textual errors;
- accurate classification of certain number ranges; and
- ensuring consistent reflection of numbering policy across the Numbering Documents.
We are also modifying the Premium Rate Services ('PRS') Condition to specifically exclude calls to 0843/4 numbers. This modification is to prevent the increase in VAT having the unintended consequence of bringing the numbers above the threshold where they become subject to premium rate regulation through the PRS Condition.
We received seven responses to the August Consultation. The respondents welcomed the consultation to ensure that the Numbering Documents were current and accurate. There was support for all the proposed modifications except for the proposal to extend the length of Communications Provider Identity (CUPID) Codes, which would result in administrative difficulties. We have not proceeded with this proposed modification.
We received 13 responses to the October Consultation. Only one respondent disagreed with the proposed modifications to the Numbering Plan but said that they understood why we were doing it. The other respondents either agreed without reservation or made suggestions about additional action we could take or should have taken whilst undertaking the consultation. Some also expressed concern about the removal of pricing clarity brought about by expressing tariffs as exclusive of VAT.
Only one respondent disagreed with the proposal to remove 0843/4 calls from the PRS Condition saying that all 08 and 09 calls that attract a charge should be strictly regulated.
Having considered all the responses to the two consultations, we have decided to proceed with our specific proposals apart from extending the length of CUPID Codes. To reflect this decision, the Numbering Plan, the Numbering Condition, the PRS Condition and the Numbering Application Forms are being modified with immediate effect.
The reasons for the modifications are explained in the body of this document and the specific text that we are modifying in the Numbering Documents and the PRS Condition is set out in the annexes. Certain statutory procedures apply when we modify the Numbering Documents and the PRS Condition and both the consultations and this statement follow those procedures. The relevant notifications of the modifications and an explanation of how the modifications meet the necessary legal tests are also set out in this document.