The Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) - the body responsible for the regulation of the electronic communications sector in Ireland - is in the final phase of a three-year campaign to implement measures to improve the Non-Geographic Number (NGN) platform for organisations and consumers in Ireland.
NGNs are phone numbers beginning with 1800, 1850, 1890, 0818, and 076, used by businesses, charities, and other organisations to deliver services like helplines, public services, and banking.
As part of the implementation of ComReg’s 2018 NGN Decision1, the five NGN ranges (1800, 1850, 1890, 0818 and 076) will reduce to two (1800 and 0818) from 31 December 2021.
Any businesses or organisations that are still using 1850, 1890 or 076 phone numbers need to urgently switch to new numbers, or risk losing service. Their telecoms operator should already have been in direct contact to inform them about this, to explain the options available, and to assist them in switching to new numbers.Since 2018 ComReg has been working closely with telecoms operators in planning for and implementing these measures, and this letter is a reminder of the upcoming withdrawal of 1850, 1890 and 076 numbers and the need for business and organisations that have not already switched to new numbers to act now.
ComReg strongly recommends switching to new numbers before 31 October 2021.
There is no automatic switching. Failure to switch will lead to a loss of service.1 ComReg Document 18/106 and Decision D15/18 published 3rd December 2018.
By switching now, businesses and organisations will:
• Save money
• Get the best available number (1800 Freephone, 0818 Standard Rate numbers and geographic numbers are available)
• Have time to communicate their new number to callers, and to update their marketing materials and online contact details
• Prevent loss of service.
To support the final push for businesses and organisations to make the switch, ComReg has invested in a public information campaign to include radio and press advertising, alongside digital and social media campaigns.
ComReg’s campaign supports individual telecoms operators’ communications with their own customers.
An explanatory infographic is also included in the Annex to this letter for your reference.
What to do next:
1. If your own organisation currently uses 1850, 1890 or 076 numbers, please forward this letter to the relevant section of your organisation and request that they contact your telecoms operator and ask to be switched to the new numbers now. Once you have your new number, update your contact details online and elsewhere so that you don’t lose touch with your callers.
2. If any of your business contacts or bodies under your remit/aegis use 1850, 1890 or 076 numbers, please remind them to switch from 1850, 1890 and 076 phone numbers now. Their telecoms operator will assist them with this.
For more information, please see www.comreg.ie/ngn. If you have any questions, please contact Karen Dunne (email: firstname.lastname@example.org).