Broadband News

Ofcom moves to ban charging for caller display options in 2018

Ofcom has announced that from 1st October 2018 (not this October but a year away) providers will not be allowed to charge for caller display. This is one of a number of changes intended to protect consumers and the removal of one of those charges that has been known to catch people out people will largely be happy, though it might just be that the revenue some operators raised from caller display options will  be spread between their full range of customers, the downside being it might increase the line rental component for those taking a DSL service but never plug a phone in so caller id is irrelevant.

The summary of the changes that will come into force as part of 'General Conditions of Entitlement' on 1st October 2018 are as follows:

  • Banning providers from charging for caller display facilities
  • Providers will be required to identify and block calls with an invalid or non-diallable number
  • New requirement for providers to have effective policies for identifying vulnerable customers so that they can ensure they are treated fairly and appropriately.
  • Extend to broadband services the requirement for providers to offer disabled users access to priority fault repair, 3rd party bill management and accessible bills.
  • Changes to complaint handling rules to help ensure complaints are dealt with promptly and effectively, including faster access to dispute resolution if deadlock is reached.
  • Broadband and mobile providers will need to make available fair and transparent debt collection and policies relating to when they will disconnect users.
  • Billing accuracy rules that already apply to voice calls to extend to broadband

Making caller display free is a positive move, but with another 12 months to go before the blocking elements come into force means that those who are less than honest will have time to exploit the gap with faked caller id.

Alas while the online world is a massively positive force it has those who are exploiting it for their own criminal gain, hence why unfortunately we have to have our own avoid falling victim to online scams guide. An interesting aspect of many online scams is that they seem to target people by a telephone call to gain initial trust and actually get you to visit sites or install software that then compromises your computer and online identity with the aim usually of taking money from you.


About time, mobile networks and VoIP providers haven't charged for years. It has always surprised me that given the huge volumes of junk calls to landlines that providers haven't offered this for free before now. Personally one of the main reasons I've unplugged my landline is the volume of junk calls - I don't see why I should pay for a network service for costs pennies to provide and should be free.

  • mr_mf
  • over 3 years ago

^^ Some providers, like TalkTalk for example, have always offered Caller Display for free.

  • baby_frogmella
  • over 3 years ago

Why not include compulsory Caller Display for non-UK source numbers? Seems most of the "marketing" calls I receive are non-UK numbers shown only as "International".

  • mollcons
  • over 3 years ago

why are people able to use a false number that looks like a local one? No mention of that.

  • peteADSL
  • over 3 years ago

BT PLC charge 45p per year for caller ID so expect line rental providers to increase their charges to the customer by a few pounds when Caller ID is made compulsory :)

  • strzelecki
  • over 3 years ago

The main VOIP providers I use provide CLI and voicemail for free.

How will the requirement to identify and block calls with an invalid or non-diallable number work if the number is withheld. I would like to see all government bodies including the NHS stopped from using withheld numbers.

  • Michael_Chare
  • over 3 years ago

Oh well looks like Ofcom regs will increase the cost of line rental for the end user.

  • 21again
  • over 3 years ago

The reason that a lot of companies and organisations like the NHS show withheld numbers is because of the fact that the call comes through a PABX. If I call someone from work no number is displayed.

  • Pendlemac
  • over 3 years ago

I have programmed my BT6500 phone to intercept calls to answerphone, every time the caller's number is withheld or unavailable. So incoming calls from companies and organisations (such as the NHS) that withhold their CLID always divert to answerphone - and my phone does not ring.

However, there is no need for any company with a PABX to withhold its CLID on outgoing calls. For instance, most calls from my bank (HSBC) display an 0800 freefone number. The calls do not divert automatically to answerphone and if I dial the 0800 number, a recorded message confirms the caller's identity.

  • bob_orton
  • over 3 years ago

45p a year ?
my Bt. charges £1.75 a month but I don't have to pay it as I am on special deal

  • sarge205
  • over 3 years ago

BT Wholesale charge 45p a year for the service. What BT retail or any other CSP is completely different!

  • mr_mf
  • over 2 years ago

NHS Scotland display a 0800 number on all outgoing calls from hospitals, doctors' surgeries etc. Might not identify the individual caller but usually you will be expecting a call so know who will have called. They have been doing this for some years so can't see why NHS England cannot do the same.

  • mbriscoe
  • over 2 years ago

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