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Number Policy 
 
Introduction and Purpose 
Talking Business has a number of products for which it supplies both Geographic and Non-Geographic Call Services (“NGCS”) telephone numbers. These telephone numbers are supplied via Talking Business suppliers from the Central UK allocations and are controlled and governed by the Office of Communications (“Ofcom”) under its powers in the Communications Act 2003, which are in turn derived from various European Commission Directives1. 
 
Telephone numbering is a finite resource, and whilst Talking Business will always attempt to hold good supplies through their providers in all areas of the UK in which it is authorised to operate2, Ofcom, our suppliers and Talking Business all have a statutory obligation to ensure stock is managed effectively to maintain future availability. 
 
The purpose of this document is to explain the policies that Talking Business will apply to all requests (and the subsequent in-life management thereof) for telephone numbers received from its customers. 
 
‘Ownership’ of numbers 
Talking Business will provide its customers with a revocable right to use a number(s). This right matches that which is provided to Talking Business by its suppliers and Ofcom, and means that at any time, Talking Business and our suppliers will have the right to recover a telephone number from a customer when required to do so by Ofcom or where there is a compelling reason to do so. 
 
Talking Business in turn will pass this revocable right to you the end user. As the end user you have a “right to use” the number(s) provided and also a right to port the number(s) away. You do not own the number(s), however have the right to gain service from another provider on the number(s) if you wish to (subject to the General Conditions published by Ofcom) and where porting agreements allow. 
 
Additionally, Talking Business are responsible for ensuring they remain compliant with all regulatory and legal provisions governing the telephone numbers allocated by their suppliers to them, which include but not necessarily limited to; 
 
The Ofcom General Conditions of Entitlement 
PhonepayPlus Code of Conduct 
National Telephone Numbering Plan 
 
Availability of number ranges 
Talking Business will attempt to provide 100% coverage of geographic number locations capable of calling both locally (where local dialling is still an Ofcom requirement) and nationally as identified by the Ofcom National Telephone Numbering Plan, where it is authorised to operate and is updated from time to time. 
The Numbering Plan can be obtained from the following link: 
 
 
This provides a list of all UK area codes and their associated locations (Appendix A in the version at the time of writing), however it is important to note that one code or named location may well cover other locations in the local area, as each named location covers multiple villages, towns or cities. 
 
As an example if we take code 01923, this is quoted as being Watford, however it also serves Chorleywood, Garston, Kings Langley (Herts), Northwood, Radlett, and Rickmansworth. 
 
This is important to understand as you may well be used to a specific area code which has previously been supplied by British Telecommunications plc (“BT”), i.e. in London the middle digits of a range historically matched the post code/area. This is not something other operators can provide as number ranges have already been allocated to BT. 
 
Talking Business will always ensure its information is as accurate as possible. 
 
Number ranges at present can only be allocated to Communication Providers by Ofcom in blocks of either 1,000 or 10,000 numbers (or shortly in certain Conservation Areas, 100 number blocks). Where ranges are heavily restricted within Conservation Areas as described below this 1,000 number restriction can sometimes prevent speedy allocation of sizeable ranges, or further information may be required to justify the use against allocation by either our suppliers or Ofcom. 
 
Definition of location 
Within this document a location is defined as being a Geographic area as defined by Ofcom, or a type of NGCS number range. 
 
Numbers imported from another network by Talking Business are grouped against their location, and tagged as “Ported” within our suppliers systems. 
 
Conservation Areas 
Some locations offered by Ofcom are classed as a Conservation Area which means the number demand is so high in these locations that restrictions have been put in place. In these areas Communication Providers are only able to gain a range of a 1,000 numbers which can quickly be used up, before securing a new range. 
 
At present there are some 600 Conservation area codes and these can be identified in the Numbering Plan: 
 
 
Additionally, Ofcom has issued a formal Statement stating it will be charging Communications Providers for allocated numbers in 30 area codes from 1st April 2013. Talking Business reserves the right to pass on these charges to its Customers inclusive of any cost of administration, and these will be classed as Ofcom Conservation Area Codes for the purpose of billing. A full list of these codes is available in Annex A. 
 
Supplier Conservation Area codes 
In line with Ofcom’s Conservation Areas or other supply constraints, some of our suppliers may also experience sizeable demand in a location which leads to a shortage of numbers available to all of its customers. As such Talking Business reserves the right to apply a restriction to ranges in these locations and to levy charges for allocation (one off, or ongoing) as appropriate; additional justification for allocation may also be required. 
 
Supplier conservation area codes are listed in Annex A to this Policy. 
 
Size of number range available for allocation 
In line with Ofcom requirements and best practice our suppliers hold blocks of 1,000 or 10,000 numbers depending on location type (noting that it is likely that Ofcom will be allocating just 100 numbers blocks in some areas in the future). If our supplier holds a range of 10,000 numbers only 1,000 will be available until used up and a further 1,000 can be released. 
 
End users can request up to 300 numbers. Where this is exceeded, then a justification may be requested by the supplier who will approve the request. 
Where an end user requests a whole 1k block (either from our existing stock or requiring an allocation to Ofcom to satisfy) this request will be rejected unless a suitable business case can be provided to justify the request. 
 
This will be sent to our suppliers Commercial and Regulatory Team to review and approve. 
 
Lead times to gain new number ranges 
In order for our suppliers to be assigned a new number range certificate by Ofcom and then build and test this range over all major UK Communications Providers the average lead time is 2 months for a geographic range from all information required being made available and 4 months for an NGCS range. 
 
End users should be aware of this lead time when requesting allocations of over 100 numbers which may require further ranges to be acquired in addition to current supplies. 
 
03 numbers 
03 numbers are designed to provide consumer certainty and confidence to make calls (notably through regulated retail prices in the National Telephone Numbering Plan) however they are governed by some specific criteria surrounding allocation which Talking Business has the responsibility to meet when making numbers live. 
 
These are: 
030 numbers – These have been designated by Ofcom for use by public sector bodies and not for profit organisations. As such Talking Business will make every effort to ensure these numbers are only allocated for use by organisations mentioned at the following link: 
 
 
034/037 These have been supplied specifically to replace the previously allocated 084/087 variants. As such these will only be allocated to an end user who owns the corresponding 08 variant. 
 
All other policy rules within this document will also apply, unless stated otherwise. 
 
Allocation of Numbers to Talking Business 
These are split into 2 main categories: 
 
Inbound Services: Single number allocation requirements 
 
IP Products: Single number or Consecutive blocks requirements 
 
Inbound Services Allocation 
For allocation of numbers for use with Inbound Services, Talking Business has the ability to search for the required numbers and allocate them through their suppliers. 
 
Numbers can only be reserved in response to a valid customer order or interest in a specific type of number, and where this does not result in an order being placed within 3 months the number must be returned to the supplier. 
 
IP Products allocation 
All IP product allocations are linked with the submission of a product order stating the area code and quantity required. Once an order has been placed, our suppliers will then supply the next available number or block of numbers to meet the end users requirements and confirm these back within the provisioning lead time for that product. 
 
Golden and Platinum Numbers 
Golden numbers and other related commercial offerings are not recognised by Ofcom, who discourage the practice of “cherry picking” number ranges as the consequence is the utilisation of ranges drops as it “writes off” whole blocks. 
 
With this in mind Talking Business does not supply Golden Numbers within its Geographic ranges. 
 
Number Selection 
Talking Business’s primary method of allocating numbers to end users is to provide the next available numbers. 
 
Where Talking Business is unable to locate the required numbers we will use a Number Selection form to start the Number Selection process. 
 
As this process is manually driven an additional charge will be raised per allocation to cover this search and allocation. 
 
Test Numbers 
It is our suppliers’ convention that in a 10k block, the number ending 7081 and in a 1k block the number ending 081 is provisioned on their test announcement system. Where they allocate (or host) a block containing these numbers, by default, these numbers are provisioned in that way and are not part of the allocation unless explicitly requested by the end user, noting the risks associated with not having this facility. 
 
Utilisation of numbers 
In line with the rules herein on allocation, where a number is assigned to an end user Talking Business requires that this is used as soon as is practicable with a product. 
 
Our suppliers may perform tests to ensure that there is no “gaming” of this Policy, i.e., but not limited to, that numbers are not routed to end users but to fax machines, company phones or unobtainable announcements or services (as a means of retaining them as “stock”). Any numbers found to be so translated may be recovered by our suppliers immediately without notice and at their sole discretion. 
 
Retrieval of Numbers 
Talking Business reserves the right to revoke the right to use a number(s) in certain cases including: 
 
If an end user does not make a new number(s) live within 3 months of its initial allocation; 
 
If an end user has ceased service on a number(s) and does not re-use the number(s) within 3 months; and 
 
If an end user has a sizeable allocation of existing numbers on their account for a specific opportunity that is not implemented; 
 
Where Ofcom requests the return, cancellation, or suspension of numbers or a number range. 
 
Talking Business reviews end users utilisation on a periodic basis and where there is a need to recover numbers, Talking Business will inform the end user affected, and discuss the reason and options available. 
 
Number Portability 
Talking Business provides its customers with number porting services for hosted Geographic, NGCS and Mobile numbers coming to our suppliers’ network and between customers on their network. It also facilitates the port out requests of other Communication Providers in moving a number away where they have been given authority to do so by the Subscriber. 
 
In order to port a number to or from Talking Business the number being requested must be live, fall under porting agreements in place between the Original Range Holder and the current owning Communications Provider, and the port must be authorised by the Subscriber. 
 
Neither Talking Business nor our suppliers have the ability to cancel a port request as a result of the Subscriber being in an unexpired contract, debt or other reason, as the Subscriber always has a right to port the number to a new service (this is enshrined in European Law and is represented in Ofcom General Condition of Entitlement 18). 
 
For guidance on who Talking Business has porting agreements with for the various types of numbers, please see contact our helpdesk. 
 
Where imported numbers are ceased on our suppliers network these will be returned to the original range holder in accordance with industry convention; this convention does not normally allow a customer to reuse the number. 
 
Standard Charges 
Geographic Number Portability 
Port Type (defined on the Knowledgebase) 
Charge per order (in hours) (exc. VAT) 
Evenings* Mon- Fri 
Sat* 
Single Line Port Order 
£25 
+£175 
+£325 
Multi line Port Order (Aux) 
£50 
+£175 
+£325 
Multi line Port Order with DDI block of up to 10 
£100 
+£175 
+£325 
Multi-line with DDI block of 11 or more 
£150 
+£175 
+£325 
* this is levied per End User order per day, so if a single End User submitted to our reseller 3 single line orders for migration on a Tuesday evening, that would be 3 SINGLE LINE PORT ORDERS at 
£25 = £75 plus one uplift of £175 with a total of £250 
 
If two separate End Users of the same reseller both submitted an order for the same evening, then that would be two sets of uplifts. 
If one end user submitted a single line to be done on a Saturday and another on a Monday evening, that would be £25 x 2 plus £175 plus £325 = £550. 
 
Non Geographic Number Portability 
 
Talking Business does not currently levy any charges on its customers for the import of nongeographic numbers, however, as industry processes and interworking improves, this situation may be reviewed in the future. 
 
Additional Charges 
 
Order Rejections 
 
Where an order is rejected by the Losing Communications Provider due to incorrect or missing information provided to Talking Business, Talking Business reserves the right to charge £15 per number port order rejection. 
 
IP Exchange Process 
 
The reason that we use for some Number Portability scenarios the BT IP Exchange platform is that it would be impossible to manage some 250+ contracts for Number Portability. The vast majority, in terms of market share, of the UK’s telecommunications industry is covered by direct agreements, where we can’t, we will process it this way (noting that it takes longer and has process issues upstream). Talking Business does not levy any additional charges for this service. 
 
Order Change/Emergency Restore 
 
Last minute order changes and/or emergency restores divert resources away from servicing other customers and discharging our regulatory obligations. We would encourage our customers to only ever submit an order that can flow through without alteration and to ensure that the Subscriber is ready for the change at the allotted time. However, we appreciate that things don’t always go to plan, which is why our customers can change orders “in flight” subject to service level agreements between networks and we can offer an Emergency Restore within the parameters set out by our suppliers. 
 
Where such changes are required for reasons outside our customers control, there is no charge; where, in our sole discretion, they reasons were within our customers control, we reserve the right to charge £30 per order per successful change or emergency restore. 
 
Out of Hours Provisioning Support 
 
Where a Customer is deploying a complex solution and requires the assistance of our Technical Support Centre out of normal business hours, Talking Business will charge £650 per day, regardless of the scale or complexity of the deployment, inclusive of any product to product or reseller to reseller transfer charges. Any charges for Number Portability (i.e. involving an external network) are excluded. 
 
Export of a Gamma Number to another network 
 
The regulatory obligation to provide Number Portability to end users technically falls on the party with the contract with the end user, regardless of whether or not they have a network. When such a request comes in, our suppliers validate it in accordance with established industry processes on our behalf, provide losing notifications to us and manage the process with the gaining network from start to finish. 
 
The provision of this service (export of a telephone number from one network to another Public Electronic Communications Network where the losing partner is not also the Original Range Holder) is £15 per number successfully exported. For information on individual customer networks contact the account management team. 
 
Project Management 
 
Talking Business offers a managed service to co-ordinate bulk ports across multiple incumbent networks for complex and large service deployments; the details and costs of this are bespoke and available through a discussion with your account. 
 
Manual Pre-Port Test Calls 
 
Our suppliers have invested in automated systems to complete this step in the Number Portability Process; however, you can still request it. Where we feel that the automated systems were sufficient, we reserve the right to levy a £30 charge for each request where the test call is successfully completed.. 
 
Directory Entries 
For each number which Talking Business supplies, a Directory entry can be submitted free of charge. This is not implemented by default and you will need to contact the helpdesk in order to implement this. Similarly, to cease a Directory entry once with us; you will need to contact the helpdesk in order to implement this. Please note that this is still the case even if a number ceases when with Talking Business, it is the customer’s responsibility to ensure they contact helpdesk to cease the Directory Entries associated with the number. 
 
It’s the customers responsibility to check whether the telephone number(s) being ported have Directory Listings. Your current provider may not currently charge you for this service, but Talking Business get charged by BT for this and this charge is passed on to yourselves. 
 
If you do not wish to have Directory Listings in place when you port, you must contact the current provider and cease this before your port order, otherwise you may get charged. 
 
999 and Emergency Services Database 
For all numbers where outbound telephone calls can be made, the customer is obligated under General Conditions of Entitlement 3 and 4 (and in turn by all of our contracts) to provide accurate Caller Location Information to the Emergency Services Database(s) and ensure this is accurately and timely maintained. The initial record is created via Talking Business through the provisioning processes for each product, and therefore it is imperative that the correct address information is provided by the customer. 
 
Due to the migratory capability available on IP telephony products, it is imperative that where a number has permanently changed address details, these new details are supplied to Talking Business so it can update the required systems. 
 
Where a 999 call is made from a Talking Business number and the address information found to be incorrect Talking Business will be notified of this by BT and/or Ofcom. Ofcom require an amended record to be submitted within two days from notification, and where this is consistently not met, further action may well be taken by Ofcom. 
 
Talking Business will ensure this requirement is passed through to the relevant customer (with an associated charge for managing the BT complaint), and will follow up with the customer. Talking Business reserves the right to charge for this service. 
 
For the avoidance of doubt, the customer must supply details for any inbound number that is ever presented for outbound calls, be that on our suppliers’ network or others. Furthermore, any numbers used abroad including on the UK Channel Islands, we inform you that they cannot be used for 999/112 services and must make alternative provisions to breakout emergency calls in those jurisdictions. 
 
Updating of 999 details 
Where a customer wishes to validate the 999 details stored against their numbers or wishes to update them, they should contact the helpdesk who will be able to provide this information. 
 
When requested the helpdesk will send across the relevant details download, you can then amend the relevant details based on the following field definitions: 
Start Number: The number uploaded or being added. This must be a Talking Business owned number. 
 
End Number: Should be the same as the start number unless, the same details apply to a group of consecutive numbers 
 
Title: Honorary or professional titles 
 
First Name: Where the number is for business use this field is not required Middle Initial: Where the number is for business use this field is not required 
Last Name: Where the number is for business use this field should specify the Company Name! 
 
Alt Telephone Number: Where available an alternative number to contact the end customer on should be provided 
 
Mobile Number: Where available a mobile number for contacting the end customer should be provided 
 
Email Address: Where available an email address to contact the end customer should be provided Premises: House Number or Name of premise 
Thoroughfare Name: More commonly known as the Street Name 
 
Locality: Village or an area within a town if available, otherwise replicates the town field Town: The town the premise is in 
County: The County the premise is in 
 
Country Code: Talking Business and our suppliers only provide 999 services within the UK; therefore the code should always be GB 
 
Post Code: The full postcode for the address to be shown in the entry. This should be provided in the format of Outcode Incode, i.e RG14 5BY 
 
Line Type: For all Talking Business products this should be stated as VOIP. 
 
 
Quarantine 
Where a service is ceased or a number passed back to Talking Business, a quarantine period will be invoked. This period will normally last for 3 months, during which the following actions will be performed: 
 
Removal of any product specific routing; 
 
Removal of any DQ or 999 details (however a historical copy will be kept); and 
 
A bar preventing that number(s) being reserved to another suppliers account 
 
Except where due to non-payment or other closure activities of an account, the customer will have the ability to request a reversal of the cessation of service (so as to restore the number to its previous service) within the 1st month of the Quarantine period. 
 
Talking Business reserves the right to reduce this quarantine period to 1 month where number supplies are low in highly requested areas. 
 
Annex A – Conservation Areas 
 
Ofcom Conservation Areas 
Area Code 
Location 
1224 
Aberdeen 
1253 
Blackpool 
1202 
Bournemouth 
1274 
Bradford 
1273 
Brighton 
1276 
Camberley 
1223 
Cambridge 
1206 
Colchester 
1332 
Derby 
1384 
Dudley 
1382 
Dundee 
1452 
Gloucester 
1483 
Guildford 
1482 
Hull 
1582 
Luton 
1642 
Middlesbrough 
1908 
Milton Keynes 
1604 
Northampton 
1603 
Norwich 
1865 
Oxford 
1752 
Plymouth 
1772 
Preston 
1753 
Slough 
1702 
Southend-on-Sea 
1782 
Stoke-on-Trent 
1792 
Swansea 
1793 
Swindon 
1924 
Wakefield 
1925 
Warrington 
1902 
Wolverhampton 
Supplier Conservation Areas 
Area Code 
Location 
Alternative area code 
0207 
London 
0203 
0208 
London 
0203 
0800 
Free Phone 
0808 
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