Fixed-line phone users in Aberdeen, Bradford, Brighton, Middlesbrough and Milton Keynes will soon have to include their local dialling code when making calls.
Phone regulator Ofcom is proposing the change order to free up new numbers where supplies are running low.
The change would require callers in the affected areas to include the area code when dialling a local number from a landline.
At present the code can be omitted for local calls, but this means Ofcom is unable to allocate local numbers beginning with a ‘zero’ or a ‘one’.1
Ofcom is proposing to implement the measure on 1 October 2014 in Aberdeen, Bradford, Brighton, Middlesbrough and Milton Keynes – five areas where the supply of new telephone numbers is running low due to high demand.
The same rules were introduced last year in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole and Ofcom says the change went “smoothly” thanks to a local information campaign to inform the public of the change.
The regulator says and increase in the number of communications providers over the last ten years has led to increased pressure on the supply of new phone numbers.
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.