As part of Ofcom’s changes to the General Conditions of Entitlement, scheduled to come into effect in October 2018, communication providers (CPs) will be required to provide customers with caller display facilities by default unless it’s not technically feasible to do so.
Covered by the new general condition C6, this requirement applies to any line on which there is a voice service including multiple ISDN channels. Following the introduction of this condition, CPs will no longer be able to charge any additional or separate fee for caller display facilities. The reasons for this were outlined by Ofcom in section 13:10 of its Statement and consultation review of the General Conditions of Entitlement which reads as follows:
“While most CPs provide basic CLI facilities for free (or at no additional charge), some CPs charge separately for access to these services. We are concerned that charging customers separately for these facilities may lead to their underuse, which reduces our ability to tackle the harm caused by nuisance calls. Further, we understand that the cost of providing basic CLI facilities to end-users is low, and since a number of CPs already provide the basic features of CLI facilities to their users without additional charge, we consider that it must be economically viable to provide basic CLI facilities without charging separately for them. We therefore proposed to add a new requirement prohibiting separate or additional charges for access to or use of standard CLI facilities.”
Although CPs will be required to provide CLI facilities for all customers by default and prohibited from charging for this, CPs themselves will still be charged a cost price per line by Openreach. Naturally this could have a material impact on the revenues of CPs that supply lines to their customer base particularly if they have, up until now, charged for the provision of CLI facilities.
This loss in revenue is sure to be compounded by Openreach’s price increase on CLI services which, as of 01/09/2018, was raised from 45p per line per year to £1.44 per line per year.
The following extract from Ofcom’s Guidelines for Calling Line Identification Facilities sets out the responsibilities of the various providers in the supply chain for providing CLI data.
“Originating providers are responsible for ensuring that accurate CLI Data is provided with a call. Transit and terminating providers are expected to check that the number provided with a call is from a valid number range. For calls that originate on a network outside the scope of these requirements, the CP at the first point of ingress is responsible for ensuring that the call is populated with valid CLI Data, replacing the information with a number that has been allocated to them for this purpose where the original number is not valid or is missing.”
Ofcom has made the 08979 range of numbers available to assist CPs in providing identification in all instances. CPs will be able to allocate numbers in this range for use as inserted Network Numbers in the event that no number is present or if there’s reason to believe an incoming CLI is unreliable.