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Big Number Change - Tenth Anniversary(10 Posts)
In a little over a month from now, it will be the tenth anniversary of the Big Number Change which happened in April 2000.
This was the time when multiple changes were made to area codes in the UK telephone numbering system, mostly to accommodate more numbering capacity in various cities.
This was the time when London did not change to the 0207 or 0208 area code.
It was also the time when Southampton did not change to the 0238 or 02380 area code.
On the same day, Portsmouth did not change to the 0239 or 02392 area code.
Likewise Coventry did not change to the 0247 or 02476 area code.
Cardiff did not change to the 0292 or 02920 area code.
Since none of those things happened, how come so many fuckwits on radio and TV, and in advertising and PR, still say and write their telephone numbers as if that is exactly what happened?
They have had ten whole years to get it right.
All UK telephone numbers beginning 02x are written: (02x) xxxx xxxx.
If it's for someone abroad use this format: +44 2x xxxx xxxx instead.
Why is that so difficult for so many people to comprehend?
probably because, in London at least, it went from being 0171/0181, and other areas all had 4 digit area dialling codes as well; and then most of them changed to area codes of 5 digits. But SOME didn't and I have the same issue as you with e.g. Reading area, where the code is 0118 XXX XXXX. There is NO POINT in writing it as 01189 XXXXXX because if you are within the area, you HAVE to dial that 9 in front of the Xs to actually get the number. Just dialling the Xs will get you nowhere.
People don't like inconsistency - can't say I blame them - it's not that easy to remember which have an SD area code of 3, 4 or 5 digits.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
No. It doesn't make sense, because...
1. The inner/outer London split was abolished ten years ago. London has a single area code. It is 020.
2. London changed from seven-digit local numbers to eight-digit local numbers in 2000. This was to create extra number capacity within London. At the time, it increased the available numbers five-fold.
3. The first four digits of the xxxx xxxx local number denote the exchange.
4. Numbers beginning 7xxx xxxx (especially 70xx xxxx and 71xx xxxx) can be anywhere in London, although most are more central because they used to be 0171 numbers.
5. Numbers beginning 8xxx xxxx (especially 80xx xxxx and 81xx xxxx) can be anywhere in London, although most are outside of the central area because they used to be 0181 numbers.
6. Numbers beginning 3xxx xxxx can be anywhere in London. These are new numbers issued after 2005.
7. Local dialling of any London number from anywhere in London requires you dial eight digits. If you were to try dialling seven digits the call will fail.
8. Local numbers cannot begin with a 0 or 1. Think hard about (020) 30xx xxxx, (020) 31xx xxxx, (020) 70xx xxxx, (020) 71xx xxxx, (020) 80xx xxxx, and (020) 81xx xxxx numbers. There's no way they can be 0203 0xx xxxx, 0203 1xx xxxx, 0207 0xx xxxx, 0207 1xx xxxx, 0208 0xx xxxx, or 0208 1xx xxxx.
It is today!
Ten years since the change... and still so very few people seem to be aware of it.
"The first four digits of the xxxx xxxx local number denote the exchange."
Or a "virtual" exchange. Now, with VoIP (Voice over IP) there are many services to choose from where a nominally geographic number can be answered anywhere in the world.
A colleague has an office in Chester, lives in rural Wales, but has an 0151 (Liverpool) number, and can answer it when he takes his VoIP phone from home to the office, or if he is visiting clients in France, Middle East, or N America, just by plugging it in.
So when you see a "London" number or some other, the person answering could be a con artist living in (say) Nigeria, despite having a "geographic" number that would be included in standard calling plans.
(Yes, in some cases odd noises or delays may give away the fact the person is not within earshot of Big Ben, or if you ring when someone is within 100 yards of a mosque in the Middle East, you may not be expecting to hear a call for prayers from that call to "Cardiff", but in general it is now far easier and cheap [or free] to have one of these numbers, where in the past there would have been high costs charged for 'call divert' [and diverting to some countries was blocked by some UK telecomms firms to save them from being defrauded by diverting calls and not having the bill paid after 3+ months].
cattj wrote "8. Local numbers cannot begin with a 0 or 1"
Didn't spot this earlier, but actually they can (though cannot be dialled the same as other local numbers).
Various 080x, 03xx numbers will be terminated in call centres in London which can only be dialled with the full "national dialling" version of the number (ie all digits)...
There are 020 0xxx xxxx numbers but because they are normally reached via an 080x or 03xx (or maybe an 09xxx) number, they are unlikely to ever be seen in print unless you are BT or the bill payer. 020 1xxx numbers could be used if the 020 0xxx numbers "run out".
Blimey, NetworkGuy. Why on earth have you revived a 10+ year old thread?