Feeds

Fees shakeup: Freephone numbers will actually BE free – Ofcom

Premium rate charges will be capped and 0800 calls made free from mobes

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Blighty's telecoms regulator Ofcom has finally announced that freephone numbers "will mean free", whether you're calling from a landline or a mobile.

Some mobile operators currently charge for dialling numbers beginning with 0800, 0808 and 116, which are generally free from landlines. But in a range of changes to telephone charging to stop customer confusion, freephone numbers will now become free from any device.

Ofcom is also introducing a cap on premium rate charges from 09 numbers, to stop rogue operators from imposing extremely high charges, and changing the way 0845 numbers are handled. Previously, 0845 numbers were sometimes charged at geographic rates and sometimes as premium rate numbers, leaving customers unsure what they would have to pay. Now, 0845 calls will be dealt with like other 084, 087 and 09 calls, where the access charge and the service charge have to be broken out.

Any organisation that wants a geographic rate number can go for one starting in 03 and Ofcom said that it would be actively encouraging public and not-for-profit bodies to use these, since they don't cost more than ordinary calls and have to be included in allocated minutes or discount deals.

The changes won't be coming in any time soon though, as the regulator said they would need "careful and detailed planning". Ofcom is looking for the new rules to be in place in a year and a half in June 2015.

“These changes will be the biggest for UK telephone customers in more than a decade. We expect them to restore people’s confidence in using phone services, and to increase competition," said Ed Richards, Ofcom's chief exec.

“Freephone will mean free for all consumers, and the cost of calling other services will be made clear. Telephone users will be able to see how much they’re paying, and where their money is going.” ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
FCC, Google cast eye over millimetre wireless
The smaller the wave, the bigger 5G's chances of success
It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE
By 'eck! Eccles cake production thrown into jeopardy
Mobile coverage on trains really is pants
You thought it was just *insert your provider here*, but now we have numbers
Don't mess with Texas ('cos it's getting Google Fiber and you're not)
A bit late, but company says 1Gbps Austin network almost ready to compete with AT&T
HBO shocks US pay TV world: We're down with OTT. Netflix says, 'Gee'
This affects every broadcaster, every cable guy
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.