Local numbers could run out by 2015 with Brighton and Hove residents made to use area code (From The Argus)
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Local numbers could run out by 2015 with Brighton and Hove residents made to use area code
Drastic measures may be taken to ensure phone numbers do not run out by 2015 in Brighton and Hove.
Yesterday Ofcom released plans to change the way people dial local telephone numbers in the Brighton and Hove area, in order to free up new numbers where supplies are running low.
There are currently around 33,000 new numbers available to allocate in the 01273 dialling area. The level of demand means these numbers would be forecast to run out by early 2015.
The number of communication providers offering services in Brighton and Hove has increased significantly over the last 10 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 new numbers.
The proposed change would require people in the 01273 phone area to include this code when dialling a local number from a landline.
Ofcom is proposing to implement the measure on October 1 2014 in Brighton and Hove. The measure was implemented in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole in November.
Going into the change in the 01202 area, Ofcom research showed 81% of local residents were aware of it, and 94% said they were not concerned.
However, the change may not be welcomed by all
A spokesperson at Age UK Brighton and Hove said: “Any changes like this can lead to disorientation for the elderly. We deal with many residents who are housebound, and their telephone is their lifeline.
“We hope in the consultation period Ofcom make sure they do not digitally exclude the elderly, and make sure they contact them via post or phone.”
Muriel Elms, 99, said she would not support the new changes. She is currently housebound after several recent heart attacks, and her phone helps her stay in touch with the outside world.
Ms Elms said: “As you get older, things like this seem to bother you more.I live alone, and use my phone to let everyone know I am doing OK.
“I will turn 100 in December, and would find this change hard.”
A spokesperson for Ofcom said: “We are proposing this measure as it’s a simple and effective way to make many more numbers available.”
The consultation closes on September 12 and a decision will be made within a couple of months.
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