Windsor Telecom CEO comments on Ofcom's 0500 announcement

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Recently Ofcom announced a consultation regarding the phasing out of 0500 numbers. 0800 number provider Windsor Telecom had this to say...

if you have had a 0500 number for many years it becomes part of your brand

0500 numbers are essentially old freephone numbers supplied by what was originally Cable & Wireless.

Neil Sherring is CEO of Windsor Telecom the UK's second largest supplier of special telephone numbers. He had this to say, “It's a very tricky situation because there are not that many users of 0500 numbers around these days. And it does make complete sense to have one universal Freephone prefix to avoid confusion. So I can see why Ofcom are undertaking this consultation. But, then again, if you have had a 0500 number for many years it becomes part of your brand. There are also cost implications in switching to a new number. So I can understand some 0500 number holders might feel aggrieved.”

“Having said that 0800 numbers are so well established that if you purchase one today I think it is fair to say there is very little chance of you having to change it in future. In addition, there are many advanced call handling features available with the newer 080 numbers.”

“Next year 0800 numbers are set to become free to call from mobiles and we are experiencing a significant upswing in 0800 number subscriptions as people get ready for that.”

0500 numbers are set to be disconnected in 2013, affected companies have nine months to prepare.

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Neil Burrows
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