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Dial the code in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole

Telephone users in the 01202 dialling area must include the code when making a local call over a landline from today.

The change is designed to safeguard the future supply of landline numbers in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole, avoiding the need to change existing phone numbers.

From today, callers in Bournemouth, Christchurch, Poole and the surrounding areas who omit the 01202 code when dialling locally will not be connected.

Instead, they will hear a message telling them to redial and include the code.

Consumer awareness

At the moment, when making a local call it is not necessary to dial the area code anywhere in the UK.

This prevents Ofcom from allocating local numbers that begin with a ‘0’ or ‘1’ – such as (01202) 075 362 or (01202) 118 903. This is because if a person in the 01202 area dialled a local number, for example 075 362 or 118 903, and omitted the 01202 code, the network would think they were dialling a mobile number (e.g. beginning 075) or directory enquiries number (beginning 118. This could lead to the call failing to be connected, or being connected to the wrong number.

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 conducted a survey of residents in the 01202 code area in October, following an information campaign that has seen adverts in local media and letters sent by telephone companies.

The survey found that:

  • 81% of residents were aware of the change;
  • 25% had already begun using the code for local numbers.
  • 96% were unconcerned by the change;
  • 91% of people use their landline to make local calls.

Ofcom is co-ordinating a local information campaign, including adverts in local media, leaflets and posters in public places and letters sent by telephone companies.

Ofcom has also worked with local councils, charities and business groups to inform and prepare the local community, and is encouraging friends and family to lend a hand to someone who may need extra help.

Telephone companies are expected to have implemented the change by late afternoon today. The price of local calls is not affected by dialling the code.

Further information is available at ofcom.org.uk/dialthecode

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