Ofcom has decided that the ‘Freephone’ range of telephone numbers prefixed with 0500 will be withdrawn in three years’ time on 3rd June 2017.
The range was introduced in 1982 and is still being used, although new numbers haven’t been allocated since 1998.
According to Ofcom’s research, the 0500 range is poorly recognised by consumers and usage is declining. As a result, Ofcom has arranged for organisations that still use 0500 numbers to migrate to 080 85 numbers with the same final six digits if they wish.
Last year Ofcom confirmed that the 080 ‘Freephone’ number range would become free to call for all UK consumers from June 2015 whether they were using fixed-line or mobile phones.