Guardian: Oftel assigns new UK telephone prefix to VoIP
The issue is scarcely new, even for the UK.
See Oftel consultation document at
A Feb. 2004 blog at
A March 2004 critique at
Cyberspace gets an area code
Tuesday September 7, 2004
It's not London (020), and it doesn't much resemble Birmingham (0121).
People visit it from Glasgow (0141) and go surfing it in Ipswich
(01473). So what is that place with the phone prefix 056? Cyberspace.
Ofcom, the telecommunications regulator, announced yesterday that on
top of the traditional landline prefixes and mobile phone numbers,
people will now have to memorise a whole new set of phone numbers for
calls via the internet.
The prefix 056 is to be assigned as the area code for those who want
to make telephone calls using a high-speed internet connection.
The move comes in response to the growing market for cheap telephone
calls made over the internet.
The technology piggybacks on broadband connections and allows users to
make cheap, or sometimes free, telephone calls in return for a monthly
Internet service providers and cable companies now routinely offer
internet telephone connections to their customers using voice over
internet protocol (Voip).
Ofcom said it believed Voip could lead to a sharp drop in call costs,
since it costs far less to offer such services than it does to offer
traditional telephone services.
The regulator made its announcement yesterday as part of a
broad-ranging statement on how it intends to regulate services that
use the internet rather than the traditional telephone network.
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