Wed | Apr 24, 2019

Mandatory 10-digit dialling begins March 31

Published:Monday | March 25, 2019 | 1:45 PM
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The Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) is reminding the public that mandatory 10-digit dialling for all local calls will begin on March 31.

The OUR had extended the period of permissive dialling by five months after receiving requests for an extension from service providers and some of their large business customers, to address challenges relating to systems employing machine-to-machine communications and PBX telephone systems.

The utility regulator explains that challenges included budgetary constraints prohibiting the timely replacement of affected equipment and the length of time needed to reconfigure thousands of Point of Sale and alarm systems.

Affected customers include hospitals, hotels, security companies and some major government entities.

However, the OUR says major issues have been addressed and mandatory 10-digit dialling will be implemented.

This means that as of March 31, if only the 7-digit telephone number is dialled, the call will not be completed and the caller will instead hear the following message from their telecoms provider: “Mandatory ten-digit dialling is now in effect for all local calls. Please hang up and redial using the area code plus the seven-digit number. This is a message from FLOW/Digicel etc.”

The OUR says all systems and devices used to dial 10-digit telephone numbers were to be updated (where required) during the ten-month permissive dialling period, which ends on March 30, 2019, to accommodate the dialling change.

These include alarms, safety systems, PBXs, fax machines, speed diallers, auto-diallers, calling lists, and outdialling lists on computers — that are equipped for, or facilitate outward calling.

The OUR says mandatory 10-digit dialling is not intended to alter or replace any existing special arrangements or agreements that customers have with their service providers for the handling or treatment of incoming calls.

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