Measures to safeguard numbers

RESIDENTS may take a little longer to make a phone call from next year.

Starting in October 2014, Shoreham and Southwick residents will be required to dial in the area code when making a landline call within the area.

Far from being a way to workout people’s fingers, phone regulator, OfCom, is introducing the dial change as new numbers are running low.

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This move covers places where numbers begin with 01273 including Brighton, Hove, Lewes and Newhaven.

As it stands the code can be omitted when dialling other numbers with the same code, however, this means that OfCom is unable to make new local numbers beginning with a 0 or 1.

The reason for this is that if someone dials a number beginning with a 0 or 1 without the area code the network would interpret the number as a mobile number (07) or directory enquiries number (118) and this would mean the call would be disconnected.

Ofcom’s Chia Seiler said: “Asking callers to use the 01273 code locally is designed to safeguard the future supply of new landline numbers and avoid the need for measures such as changing existing phone numbers.

“The cost of calls won’t be affected, and those who dial without the area code after the change will hear a recorded message asking them to include it.”