Dial the code in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole

01 November 2012

Callers must use 01202 area code to make local calls from today

Telephone users in the 01202 dialling area must include the code when making a local call over a landline from today.

The change is designed to safeguard the future supply of landline numbers in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole, avoiding the need to change existing phone numbers1.

From today, callers in Bournemouth, Christchurch, Poole and the surrounding areas who omit the 01202 code when dialling locally will not be connected. Instead, they will hear a message telling them to redial and include the code.

Consumer awareness

Ofcom conducted a survey of residents in the 01202 code area2 in October, following an information campaign that has seen adverts in local media and letters sent by telephone companies. The survey found that:

  • 81% of residents were aware of the change;
  • 25% had already begun using the code for local numbers.
  • 96% were unconcerned by the change;
  • 91% of people use their landline to make local calls.

Ofcom is co-ordinating a local information campaign, including adverts in local media, leaflets and posters in public places and letters sent by telephone companies. Ofcom has also worked with local councils, charities and business groups to inform and prepare the local community, and is encouraging friends and family to lend a hand to someone who may need extra help.

Telephone companies are expected to have implemented the change by late afternoon today. The price of local calls is not affected by dialling the code.

Further information is available at ofcom.org.uk/dialthecode

END

NOTES FOR EDITORS

  1. The number of communications providers with landline numbers has increased significantly over the last eight years, leading to more competition and cheaper landline bills for millions of homes and businesses. But it has also led to increased pressure on the supply of phone numbers.
    Currently, Ofcom cannot allocate phone numbers in which the first digit after the area code is 0 or 1 (for example, 01202 075 362 or 01202 118 903). This is because the network that is connecting the call may confuse the number with other existing dialling codes (such as a mobile number beginning with 075) or with a number reserved for special use (such as 118 for calls to directory enquiry services). Dialling the code avoids this confusion and allows Ofcom to allocate numbers in which the first digit after the area code is 0 or 1. This makes almost 200,000 more 01202 numbers available for use.
  2. Saville Rossiter-Base interviewed 1,000 adults in the 01202 dialling code area by telephone on behalf of Ofcom during mid October 2012.
  3. Under section 63 (1) of the Communications Act 2003, Ofcom has a duty to encourage the most appropriate and efficient use of telephone numbers.