Statement: Future of telephone numbers

Published: 23 April 2021
Consultation closes: 2 July 2021
Status: Closed (statement published)

This statement forms part of our ongoing review of the future of telephone numbers. Please see also our further consultation on revenue sharing (published 1 December 2023).

Statement published 11 March 2022

Ofcom has decided to amend the rules that govern the use of phone numbers in the UK, to ensure they take account of the substantial changes taking place in the country’s networks and continue to promote consumer confidence in phone services.

Phone calls are an essential service for many people and businesses. However, the way we use phones is changing. Mobile and online communications are increasing, and landline use is in general decline. The traditional landline phone network in the UK – the public switched telephone network (PSTN) – is coming to the end of its life and is gradually being replaced. Over the next few years, landline calls will be carried over more modern Internet Protocol (IP) networks, with landline phone services increasingly delivered over broadband connections.

Against this backdrop, we have been reviewing our rulebook for phone numbers in the UK – called the National Telephone Numbering Plan. We outlined our proposed approach to this review in our First Consultation in 2019. In our Second Consultation in 2021, we put forward proposals relating to geographic numbering, and in this document we are setting out and explaining our decisions.


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