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Ofcom explores blockchain for managing telephone numbers

Ofcom explores blockchain for managing telephone numbers

Ofcom, the UK regulator, has received £700k from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to explore how blockchain technology could improve how UK landline telephone numbers are managed. Between now and April 2020, Ofcom will invite industry participants to trial the porting and management of millions of telephone numbers using blockchain and ledger technology. Approximately one billion landline telephone numbers are available in the UK, either already in use or reserved for allocation. Ofcom issues blocks of these numbers to telecoms operators, who manage the numbers and movement (porting) of them into and out of their control. Existing systems used for this process will be challenged as telecoms networks move from traditional analogue telephone lines to an all-IP (internet protocol) infrastructure. Moving to blockchain has the potential to bring a number of benefits to consumers and industry: improved customer experience when moving a number between providers, lower regulatory and business costs, and more effective management of nuisance calls and fraud. Blockchain, says Ofcom, allows for greater transparency between users and uses underlying open-source software code. “It is resilient because the number database can be replicated with each user having a copy. Updates can also be seen in real-time, by all users, but cannot be added to the register. Previous attempts to develop a centralised database haven’t succeeded because of high costs and barriers to collaboration; but this technology offers an opportunity to build a cost-effective and future-proof solution.” Read more

  • Tuesday, 23 October 2018

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