Dial the 01202 Code
What changes are happening to local phone calls in Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch?
From 1 November, 2012 residents and businesses will need to dial the whole phone number, including the 01202 code, even when dialling another Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch number.
How will the change happen?
The phone companies that manage the telephone networks will change the way that the network operates for the area code 01202. Previously, when phone numbers were dialled without the 01202 code, the phone networks assumed the call was to a local 01202 number. From 1 November 2012, residents and businesses will need to dial 01202 before dialling the local phone number.
What if I forget to dial the 01202 code?
If the number is dialled without 01202, the caller will hear a free message telling them to redial with the 01202 code.
Who do I need to contact for further information?
Phone companies will provide information to their customers in the area covered by the 01202 code.
Ofcom is also working with the Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch councils to make sure that local information centres are able to provide more information to their residents. Ofcom can also be contacted on 0300 123 3333.
Will the cost of a call change?
Dialling the code does not affect the price of the call.
Does this mean that phone numbers are going to change?
No. We can create more numbers without changing anybody’s existing phone number. This is important for us, as we know that number changes are costly and inconvenient for consumers and businesses.
Why are changes needed in Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch?
Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch share the 01202 area code. They make up a thriving area with over 400,000 people. The number of telecoms providers has increased significantly over the last six years, leading to more competition and cheaper landline bills.
This creates demand for telephone numbers. The limited supplies that Ofcom has to allocate to telecoms providers are running low and measures have to be introduced if homes and businesses in the 01202 area are to continue to enjoy the widest choice of telecoms providers.
Ofcom has set out a number of measures to tackle this problem for a small number of area codes. The areas covered by the 01202 code, including Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch, will be the first areas where residents and businesses will need to dial the code when calling locally.
How will the changes create more numbers in Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch?
At the moment, when making a local call it is not necessary to use the area code.
But 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 (eg beginning with 075) or directory enquiries number (eg beginning with 118) rather than a local 01202 number. This could lead to the call failing to be connected, or being connected to the wrong number.
If people have to dial the 01202 code, we can use local numbers beginning with 0 and 1. This adds around 200,000 numbers to the supply in each area.
When will this happen?
You will have to dial the 01202 code from 1 November, 2012. However, it is good idea to get into the habit of dialling the code from today as including the code is optional when dialling other 01202 numbers.
How are you going to tell residents and businesses about this change?
We are very aware that this change to the way people dial 01202 numbers locally could be confusing for some people. It is important that we communicate the change – and we want to get this right. Telecoms companies are taking responsibility for communicating the change to their customers.
Ofcom also plans to engage with residents through local and national media, local authorities, community centres and other local venues. Ofcom will be paying particular attention to make sure that the communications are effective.
Why don’t you change numbers as you have done in other areas that have run out of numbers in the past?
We have changed consumers’ numbers and area codes in the past to create more numbers in an area and this solution ensures a long-term supply of numbers. However changes to numbers are costly and inconvenient for consumers and businesses.
We have decided to implement an alternative long-term solution that our consumer research shows to be the least disruptive option for homes and businesses.
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