Executive Chairman of Cool Corporation Joe Issa has described as responsible and reassuring the move by the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) to secure Jamaica’s number available for the next 25 years.
“It is a responsible move on the part of the OUR, to ensure that sufficient telephone numbers are available to satisfy the needs of individuals and businesses for the next 25 years.
“It is also reassuring for people and the business community, regarding their long-term growth plans, as it could be quite disconcerting not knowing what will happen when we use up the 876 quotas of telephone numbers.
“Now that we are assured that enough numbers are available to accommodate planned expansions over the long term, this will act as a big incentive for businesses to implement present plans for long-term growth and that of the economy.
“The move could also make Jamaica more attractive to foreign investments which have a high demand for telephone numbers, such as the emerging BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) industry,” said Issa.
Issa was commenting on the announcement by the OUR, that Jamaica now has another area code – 658 – in addition to the existing 876 and that the new code, which takes effect on May 31, 2018, mandates ten-digit dialling – the 3-digit code plus the 7-digit number – for all local calls.
OUR explained, however, that there will be an adjustment period – the permissive dialling period – lasting at least five months, during which a recording will remind clients to dial the current 3-digit code if they forget and dial only the 7-digit number. After the permissive dialling period is ended, all local calls will require ten-digit dialling to be completed.
The new code is to be used in addition to, and not as a replacement for, the existing 876 area code; and the introduction of ten-digit dialling will not increase telephone charges, nor require current telephone numbers to be changed.
However, clients, especially businesses and government agencies are being encouraged to start adding the current 876 area code on all their printed materials and signage.
Users of alarm services and solutions with automatic diallers, and operators of PBX systems are also advised “to contact their respective service providers to ensure that their systems will be compatible with the new numbering and dialling arrangements,” OUR said.
“It became necessary for Jamaica to get an additional Numbering Plan Area (NPA) code…to ensure that there are sufficient numbers available to satisfy growth in demand for these resources over the next 25 years,” the agency was quoted explaining.
Under the Telecommunications Act, the OURis fully responsible for the allocation, assignment (to service providers) and usage of telecommunication numbers in Jamaica.