Ofcom Gets $700,000 BGP Grant To Study Blockchain for UK Telephone Numbers

UK Telecom Regulator Gets $700,000 GBP Grant To Study Blockchain

The Regulators’ Pioneer Fund has recently announced that it would award Ofcom, a national telecommunications regulatory authority, with $700,000 GBP(about $915,000 USD) to study the blockchain technology in order to improve the UK telephone number management.

Ofcom has released an official document in which it estimates that about 1 billion phone numbers are available for UK users are already in used or reserved. Telecom operators use the numbers and manage them but sometimes the numbers get out of their control.

As the United Kingdom moves away from a more traditional phone line and it uses more of an internet-based structure, the blockchain technology could be used to lower the costs of operation and to increase the efficacy of porting to streamline fraud and “nuisance” calls, which would make the final experience of the customers better.

Mansoor Hanif, the Ofcom chief technology officer (CTO), has affirmed that the regulator would work together with the members of the industry to explore the blockchain technology and find ways that it could be quicker and easier for the customers to switch providers while keeping their numbers.

Another effort of the entity will be focused on developing a new database that will document these improvements that are being made, however, past attempts of doing it have failed so far, according to the regulator.

One of the reasons for the failure is that centralized databases are generally very expensive to maintain and they create many collaboration barriers. The blockchain technology, however, uses the distributed ledger technology in a way that it offers more opportunities for creating cost-effective and future-proof solutions for the industry.

According to the regulator, any solution that will be built as a result of this upcoming study will be tested before being applied to the industry. The main goal is to let the regulators share the key learnings from the study and create a compilation of the best practices that can be used to improve the way that this works.

By creating this database, an underlying code base and applications, the regulator believes that many of the problems in the telecom ecosystem can be solved or at least improved.

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