UK Telecom Regulator Wins Grant to Study Blockchain

UK Telecom Regulator Wins Grant to Study Blockchain

The U.K. is sponsoring inquiry into organizing and managing phone numbers by the national telecom regulator.

The Regulators' Pioneer Fund published on Friday that it would grant nearly £700,000 (just under $915,000) to Ofcom, the national telecommunications regulatory authority, "for a project that practices blockchain technology to improve U.K. telephone number management."

Ofcom presented more details about the project Monday, stating in a press release that there are approximately 1 billion phone numbers ready to U.K. residents, "both previously in use or reserved for allocation."

"We issue blocks of these numbers to telecoms operators, who run the numbers and movement (porting) of them into and out of their control," is described.

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But, as the country moves from traditional analog phone lines to an Internet-based infrastructure, current practices may face issues. As such, blockchain technology could be used to lower costs, start porting more efficient, streamline fraud or "nuisance" call management and provide customers with much experience.

Ofcom chief technology officer Mansoor Hanif announced in a statement that the regulator would work with industry members, describing:

"We will be serving with industry to explore how blockchain could make it quicker and simpler for landline customers to switch providers while keeping their number – as well as decreasing nuisance calls. And we'll expand our research into other areas where innovative technologies such as blockchain could be implemented to benefit consumers."

The entity has been studying to develop a new database to create these reforms, but past attempts have abandoned, the release revealed.

In particular, centralized databases are expensive and put up "barriers to collaboration," but a blockchain platform "offers an occasion to build a cost-effective and future-proof solution."

Any solution built as a result of the project will be tested before an industry rollout, the release remarked. Moreover, the regulators intend to "share key learnings, best practices, and the underlying code base, where appropriate, with other regulators."

#Blockchain News #Blockchain #Uk Telecom

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