Dialling the 01202 Bournemouth code from 1 November
People living in Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch will have to dial the 01202 area code when making a local call from 1 November, Ofcom confirmed today.
From 1 November, callers who omit the 01202 code when dialling locally will hear a free message telling them to include it when they redial.
This change is designed to safeguard the future supply of landline numbers in the Bournemouth area and avoid the need to change existing phone numbers.
Widest choice of providers
The supply of new landline numbers also ensures that consumers and businesses continue to enjoy the widest choice of telecoms providers. The price of local calls will not be affected by dialling the code.
Safeguarding the supply of numbers
Currently, Ofcom allocates 01 and 02 telephone numbers to around 300 communications providers free of charge in large blocks. These companies then use the numbers to provide services to homes, businesses and other organisations.
The number of communications providers with landline numbers has increased significantly over the last eight years, leading to more competition and cheaper landline bills for millions of homes and businesses. But it has also led to increased pressure on the supply of phone numbers.
At the moment, when making a local call it is not necessary to dial the area code anywhere in the UK.
But this means that Ofcom cannot allocate phone numbers in which the first digit after the area code is 0 or 1 (for example, 01202 075 362 or 01202 118 903). This is because the network that is connecting the call may confuse the number with other existing dialling codes (such as a mobile number beginning with 075) or with a number reserved for special use (such as 118 for calls to directory enquiry services).
Dialling the code avoids this confusion and allows Ofcom to allocate numbers in which the first digit after the area code is 0 or 1. This makes almost 200,000 more 01202 numbers available for use.
Ofcom is working with communications providers, the local council, local consumer and business groups and charities to inform the community well in advance of the need to dial the code.
Local residents and businesses should look out for the logo and campaign explaining the need to dial the area code.
Dialling the local area code
In a small number of areas of the UK, where phone numbers are becoming very scarce, people will need to dial the whole number when making local calls.
This measure will enable Ofcom to make more numbers available in those areas.
Ofcom’s consumer research shows this to be the least disruptive option for making new phone numbers available for homes and businesses.
Details of Ofcom’s decision can be found here.
More information about the change can be found on Ofcom’s website at www.ofcom.org.uk/dialthecode
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