KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) is insisting that it has placed no restrictions on the allocation of toll-free numbers.
In a release this afternoon, the utilities regulatory company said that the clarification is necessary as they have been receiving complaints that there have been restrictions on the assignment of toll-free numbers.
This alleged restriction, the OUR stated, is said to have denied members of the public access to preferred numbers even though the numbers in issue have not been otherwise assigned for use and should therefore be available for assignment.
“Toll-free numbers allow callers to reach private and public persons without being charged for the call,” OUR explained.
They added that the charge for calling a toll-free number is paid by the toll-free subscriber except that callers from a mobile network may be charged for airtime.
In response to a telecommunications industry petition to expedite the establishment of a comprehensive toll-free numbering scheme, the OUR said it brought forward its previously planned development of a scheme to satisfy the requirement for “competitive fairness and equity in the toll-free service market”.
The OUR said its determinations removed previous restrictions on access to local toll-free numbers and made available a potential pool of ten million local toll-free numbers to telecommunications carriers and service providers for the provision of local toll-free services to their customers.The OUR said that in order to avert any unauthorised restrictions on access to toll-free numbers by the public, whether by design or default, they issued a formal industry notification, on January 20, 2017, giving notice to carriers and service providers that the Local Toll Free Numbering Scheme was “fully operationalised”.