Monday, August 15, 2016

Please note: the UK still has a few Ten digit phone numbers!

Most people in the UK now have eleven digit telephone numbers counting the national dialling code.

However, Ofcom (and it is the regulator Ofcom, NOT BT, which controls this) has left a small number of the previous ten digit numbers in place.

I know this because I still have a ten digit landline myself.

I cannot see that there is really any material problem with this if there is enough number capacity in the areas affected, which in Whitehaven there is, but it does occasionally cause minor inconvenience when some individuals, particularly computer programmers or delivery drivers, do not realise that ten-digit numbers can be correct.

I have occasionally found online systems refusing to accept my telephone number (I can usually get away by putting in my mobile or my eleven digit office landline instead) and we had a delivery driver this morning who did not give us the anticipated call an hour before arriving because he looked at the ten digit number and assumed it was wrong. Luckily he found us anyway and we were already ready.

(I'm working from home today but we had made sure we were prepared for the delivery before I started work.)

Nevertheless, especially if you are a computer programmer or delivery driver, please note that there are still a few ten digit numbers in rural and semi-rural areas of Britain which are correct!


Jim said...

Mine is also a 10 digit number, which may sound strange as its also on BT infinity and I only obtained it in 2014.

However, should you be having problems with computers or even with keying it in to some telephone services using your phone touch pad there is a simple, but effective workaround. Simply add a 0 to the end, thats it, and bingo you just gave the computer an 11 digit number to dial, yet even though it does dial the trailing zero, it never breaks the connection to your phone.

try it next time you you phone home from the office just use 01946 XXXXX0. you will see there is no effect on the call that is placed, and well typing an extra 0 is hardly difficult. Saves you messing about with mobile numbers and office ones.

Jim said...

To further prove the point to yourself, use your mobile, key in your phone number ending with the extra 0, then hit the call button (to dial the number at computer speed). Check that out huh.

Should any other BT managers require any further information on the routing of calls though a telecoms switch then the general public are always happy to help you out :-)

Jim said...

it does not have to be a zero either if you want to use any other number, just so long as the first Ten (5 if its a local call) are your actual number the switch will ignore any further ones and just pass them on, you can bang away on the numbers all day long once the routing has taken place and it will have no effect on the call.

Jim said...

Just thinking now even more, Do we really need to pay for a big OFCOM ruling so it then has to be legislated that BT must ensure we all dial in an extra 0 following a ten digit number, by changing the configuration of the switches?

or can we just be sensible, and work around the problem ourselves, costing the tax payer NOWT?

Chris Whiteside said...

The rollout of eleven digit numbers in most parts of the country was driven by shortage of numbers. Cumbria wasn't that short and OFCOM - it might still have been OFTEL at the time - din't think it necessary to migrate everyone.

I'll remember the extra zero tip, Jim, thanks.

No need to cost the taxpayer anything.

Anonymous said...

Does BT's own Fault reporting system recognise 10 digit numbers yet?