Mandatory 10-digit dialling now in effect

April 01, 2019

Effective yesterday, if persons only dial a seven-digit number, the call will not be completed and the caller will instead be directed to hang up and redial using the area code plus the seven-digit number.

The Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) had extended the period of permissive dialling by five months to March 30, after receiving requests for an extension from service providers and some of their large business customers to address challenges relating to systems employing machine-to-machine communications and PBX telephone systems.

The challenges included budgetary constraints prohibiting the timely replacement of affected equipment and the length of time needed to reconfigure thousands of Point of Sale (POS) and alarm systems. Affected customers include hospitals, hotels, security companies and some major government entities.

Temporary exception

Despite the new measure now in effect, FLOW Jamaica will facilitate a temporary exception for machine-to- machine communication, which will cover the non compliant point-of-sale terminals as well as alarm systems.

This, after the company noted that several entities had still not completed the necessary preparation required for a seamless transition to mandatory ten-digit dialling.

"Unfortunately, their lack of preparedness will cause members of the public great inconvenience. As such, we have decided in the nation's interest, to facilitate this temporary exception which will expire on April 30, 2019. This means that, for the next month, point of sale transactions and alarm notifications to the security companies will be completed as usual," said Kayon Mitchell, director of corporate communications and stakeholder management.

The OUR wishes to make it clear that mandatory 10-digit dialling is not intended to alter or replace any existing special arrangements or agreements that customers have with their service providers for the handling or treatment of incoming calls.

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