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Notice to 0870 number users – PSA regulation

We would like to remind anyone with 0870 phone numbers that these numbers are now subject to  PSA  (Phone-paid Services Authority) regulation.  If the service you provide is subject to certain special conditions then you will need to register with the PSA (a regular business sales or enquiry line would not qualify). If you require any clarification on regulation, special conditions or any other information related to regulation please contact the PSA directly.

The PSA has recently made us aware that many 0870 holders offer special services categorised as ICSS but are non-compliant. Please see the below from PSA:


It has recently come to our attention that providers, which many networks contract with for use of number ranges prefixed with 0870/1, are using these numbers to provide non-compliant Information, Connections & Signposting Services (ICSS). ICSS is defined as follows:

 

Premium rate services, excluding full national directory enquiry services, that provide connection to specific organisations, businesses and/or services located or provided in the UK; and/or which provide information, advice, and/or assistance relating to such specific organisations, businesses and/or services.

 

 

Where such numbers are used to provide ICSS, you are further reminded that this type of service is subject to Special Conditions[1] which were notified to industry through a Notice published on the PSA website following consultation[2].

 

We would like to draw your attention in particular to ICSS 13 which states:

 

ICSS providers must notify the Phone-paid Services Authority, within 48 hours of making the service accessible to the public, of all applicable telephone number(s) or access code(s) used for the operation of the service and their specific designated purpose. Where these change or new numbers are added, all such telephone number(s) or access code(s) must also be notified to the Phone-paid Services Authority within 48 hours of their being put into public use.

 

For example, this information may include a premium rate number (PRN) beginning 09, a voice shortcode, and details of the company or organisation or service to which

the number connects:

– PRN 09xxxx120321 – VSC 65xx0 – offers connection to ‘XL TV Co Ltd’

 

For the avoidance of doubt, whilst the example uses a number prefixed with 09, this condition also applies to all other premium rate numbers, including 0870/1 numbers.

 

Under paragraph 3.1.1 of the PSA Code of Practice, all parties involved in the provision of PRS (networks, Level 1 and Level 2 providers) are required to take all reasonable steps to prevent the evasion or undermining of PRS regulation, and to assess and maintain control of potential risks posed by organisations they contract with.  In addition, paragraph 3.3.1 of the Code requires networks and Level 1 providers to perform thorough due diligence on those they contract with in connection with the provision of PRS.

 

In light of these obligations, we would recommend that any ICSS that are promoted and/or operated through your numbers or platform are reviewed and any issues addressed as soon as possible as part of your performance of the obligations.

 

[1] See https://psauthority.org.uk/for-business/special-conditions

[2] See https://psauthority.org.uk/-/media/Files/PSA/For-Businesses/Guidance-and-compliance/Explore-our-guidance/Guidance-files/24_Notice-of-SC-for-ICSS.ashx?la=en