Regulatory body Ofcom has suggested that the UK is running out of new phone numbers as new measures to deal with the impending shortages are revealed.
Suggesting that the rise in communication providers plying their trade in the UK is to blame for the mounting issue, Ofcom’s latest report has claimed that five major UK cities are facing the biggest strain on phone number availability, with new measures set to be introduced next year.
According to the report, Aberdeen, Bradford, Brighton, Middlesbrough and Milton Keynes are current closest to filling their quota of available phone numbers. Ofcom has revealed that from October 2014, residents in these areas could be forced to dial their area code when making local calls in order to “free up new numbers where supplies are running low.”
With 94 per cent of those questioned stating they would be untroubled by the proposed changes, the scheme which is already being trialled in Poole and Bournemouth could be rolled out nationally within the next decade.
"The number of communications providers has increased significantly over the last ten years, leading to more competition and cheaper landline bills for millions of homes and businesses," the Ofcom report stated.
It added: "But it has also led to increased pressure on the supply of new phone numbers.”
An official spokesperson for the regulatory body stated: "Requiring landline callers to use the code locally is intended to safeguard the future supply of new landline numbers and avoid the need for more disruptive measures, such as changing existing phone numbers.
"The cost of calls would not be affected, and those who dial without the area code after the change would hear a recorded message asking them to include it."
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