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11 Digit Phone Numbers Coming To The UK

Due to a shortage of available remaining local telephone numbers, Ofcom will introduce the need to dial the full national code - when making a phone call.

Bournemouth, Pool and Christchurch will trial the proposal from November this year. Anyone in this area will need to add 01202 to the beginning of any six digit local numbers. By 2021, 44 more areas will have adopted the change. This means that just calling for a takeaway will require tapping in 11 digits, but it will result in hundreds of thousands of new available telephone numbers.

Research company, Futuresight, found that most people are sceptical that the availability of short numbers is actually a problem. There is little opposition, however, as shorter numbers are "largely taken for granted and seen as 'nice to have', not a necessity", with 51 out of 63 people backing the scheme.

One of the causes of the shortage, is that several large telephone companies are holding back vast quantities of the shorter numbers. The reason being is that they might be assigned to customers, sometime in the future. In order to combat this, Ofcom is releasing a pilot scheme that will charge each company 10p for every number it has withheld. The aim being that the companies will be encouraged to give up the numbers, to those who need them.