The United Kingdom's telecom industry regulator has plans to push VoIP into the residential mainstream.
Ofcom, the United Kingdom's telecommunications regulatory agency, announced a new numbering system for VoIP.
A new prefix has been established, 056, that is not tied to any particular location and will allow people to switch from their existing phone number to a broadband number.
In addition, certain customers with regional prefixes of 01 and 02 may be able to keep their traditional-line phone numbers after switching to VoIP. British telecom regulator Ofcom said its approach to VoIP and release of new telephone numbering for it was aimed at encouraging the services through reduced costs and increased competition.
Personally, I don't see the need for a "special" VoIP area code. VoIP should always be transparent to the user. That is, you should never know you are dialing someone that is using VoIP versus someone on a traditional landline or cellphone.
Why segment the VoIP phone numbers? If you ask me, segmenting the VoIP phone numbers could potentially lead to some sort of "special" VoIP access charge or tax or something worse.
While I commend Ofcom for trying to promote VoIP through the creation of a new area code dedicated to VoIP, I am wary of its implications.