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Author Topic: Ofcom Warns UK Phone Providers to Stop Obstructing Number Ports  (Read 269 times)


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Ofcom Warns UK Phone Providers to Stop Obstructing Number Ports
« on: November 07, 2018, 10:51:49 AM »

The national telecoms regulator, Ofcom, has published a new letter that warns fixed telecoms providers against blocking or hindering consumers from being able to port their telephone numbers to a different provider, which is sadly something that continues to occur but is also “unacceptable and unlawful“.

Under the General Condition 18 (GC18) rule UK consumers are supposed to be able to keep their number when changing provider, except in certain situations. For example, it’s not always possible to keep your fixed line phone number when moving to a completely different physical network or exchange area (house moves etc.).

But recently there have been a number of cases where Ofcom has had or may have to take tougher action in the future. At the same time the increasing move toward IP based (VoIP / SIP) platforms and broadband-only connections is driving another big change in the market, with consumers gradually moving away from the old analogue style phone services of old.

In keeping with that the regulator and fixed line broadband ISPs / phone providers are already working on ways to make the process of porting your number to a different platform both quicker and easier, although it’s unclear how long it will take before that becomes a reality.

In the meantime Ofcom’s new letter to the Office of the Telecoms Adjudicator (OTA) makes crystal clear their desire to tackle operators that obstruct legitimate number porting requests. It also calls for a new “port override process” to assist consumers in situations where their attempts to port a number are unfairly obstructed.
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