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:
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 modifications to the Numbering Documents relate to:
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.