Irish telecoms regulator ComReg has launched a public consultation regarding the five existing classes of non-geographic numbers, citing a concern over the lack of transparency regarding the pricing for calls using these numbers.
At present there are five classes of non-geographic numbers in Ireland, specifically: freephone (number range 1800), shared cost with e fixed charge per call (1850), shared cost which are charged per minute (1890), universal access (0818) and nomadic (076).
ComReg claims that surveys it has carried out indicate that many consumers cannot differentiate between the five classes and do not know the costs of calling these numbers. As such, the regulator’s consultation paper on non-geographic numbers proposes ‘two measures which seek to address the current perceived problems with the non-geographic number platform’. The first proposal is to link such calls to equivalent calls to geographic numbers for the purposes of pricing. The second proposal is to reduce the total number of non-geographic number ranges from five to two, by retaining the 1800 and 0818 ranges and removing the 1850, 1890, and 076 ranges over a transition period of between two and three years.
The consultation will run until 12 October 2017.