Joined: 09 Apr 2006
|Posted: Mon Sep 10, 2007 11:39 am Post subject: ICSTIS changing to PhonepayPlus
|Evidently Ofcom and ICSTIS between them have decided that the name of ICSTIS shall be changed to PhonepayPlus. Probably the main reason for the change of name is to cover the fact that ICSTIS now will have to add to their previous duties and responsibilities for Original Premium numbers the task of supposedly overseeing a new vogue of Premium numbers with call queuing allowed. This series will commence with only 0871, but you can bet that what is really behind it is that Ofcom have already decided what their next sly move with covert Premium numbers will be, so that call queuing and all the tricks for extortion can continue unabated, and that is probably why they have both agreed that the supposed responsibility for regulating them will be passed to what was ICSTIS and now will be Phonepayplus.
To understand what is really at the base of this whole deceitful strategy, you have to remember that the scam of revenue generation with non-09 NGNs in reality is based on allowing call queuing so as to generate unlimited revenue. What Ofcom is clearly intending is to neatly enable call queuing on Premium numbers to continue, by gradually moving all revenue-generating NGNs over to this newly named version of ICSTIS to control, so that Ofcom can effectively wash its hands of the problem, by then fully admitting at last that they are all Premium numbers in reality, although they denied for so long previously that they were Premium numbers, and claimed that they were just being used for "revenue sharing" so that was different !!! This new side stepping gambit they seem to believe will allow them to "get rid of the problem" which they know they have at present, because they know only too well that according to the original National Telephone Numbering Plan (which was designed by the regulator - not the public) Premium numbers should never have been allowed in the 08 or 07 category, but should be in the 09 category with call queuing prohibited. However the telecoms entities (and the government) do not want call queuing prohibited because this is how they are all making the big money with this scam.
So this is the dilemma which Ofcom have, they are in a very difficult position. They need to be seen to be acting supposedly to fulfill their primary duty under the Acts, but do not want to upset their telecoms buddies, nor of course can they act against the government's demands. I believe therefore that they have decided that the easiest way out of their difficulty is to eventually gradually move all these problem NGNs over to be officially classified as Premium numbers under the control of PhonepayPlus, as they are doing initially with 0871, but in a new category of Premium numbers with call queuing permitted, as they have already announced 0871 will be. This really is totally outrageous.
Their complete strategy is unacceptable to Citizen Consumers of course, and in reality this gambit will put Ofcom in a position of being open to charges of serious mal-regulation, since it was the regulator themselves who originally decided to prohibit call queuing with Premium numbers. It is most certainly not in the interest of Citizen Consumers that call queuing be permitted with Premium numbers, quite the reverse actually of course. However, if all these problematic numbers are reclassified Ofcom hope that it will not be their problem any more and that they can escape any responsibility for the continuing scam. This is entirely untrue of course, since they alone are to blame for all of these problems due to their failure to regulate when the abuses commenced, and their failure to enforce the original National Telephone Numbering Plan. I believe the renaming of ICSTIS is probably because Ofcom has already decided to sanction a whole new category of Premium numbers with call queuing permitted and this is the initial move to clear the way.
It is clear that Ofcom intend other new prefix Premium numbers with queuing to be introduced, and this is indicated on:
http://www.ofcom.org.uk/consult/condocs/numresource/summary/ This proposal includes plans to designate new ranges 0872 and 0873 to supplement the 0871 category, and for a new 0843 to supplement the 0844 category. No doubt they plan more longer term, and once these numbers are all allocated to PhonepayPlus they will be officially classified as Premium numbers. The fact that they will all be Premium numbers with call queuing permitted will not be promulgated or emphasized by them though of course.
The whole thing is if anything even worse than what existed before, and Ofcom know in reality that they are just attempting to play the very worst kind of dirty tricks with the Citizen Consumer, whom it is their primary duty under the Acts to protect from just this sort of abuse. This now has to be the focus for the campaign - stop call queuing on Premium numbers. Oftel originally decided it was bad for the consumer. It is still just as bad and has to be prohibited!
Ofcom are ineffectual