Friday, 27 May 2016

Fun with numbers

As I have posted, we are working on stuff with BT renumbering and number export (which is going quite well now actually), but in part of the process I got to understand the BT systems a bit better.

For amusement I checked, and the quite distinctive telephone number that we first had when we moved to Bracknell was in the free number pool. We have not had that number for over 20 years now. So, as part of my testing I had a play, renumbered on to a line, and exported to VoIP. It worked!

I think it is quite cool getting a really old phone number back. I found I could get my wife's old house number from when she was a kid, but she was not at all interested. Maybe it is just me. It is not really a "service" we can offer though, sorry.

Anyway, first and only call so far on that number:-


  1. hahahaha ... "you're a f@cking cheeky bast@rd" ... excellent sales technique ... oh, but I bet they "weren't selling anything".

  2. I think you might find a lot of people would be interested in getting their old numbers back. I'd love to get my childhood phone number back just to freak my parents out. What sort of price makes it financially viable?

    1. Ha, well, it is complicated. First we have to find if the number is spare - that is easy, but I have to check if that has any cost or not to BT a d we don't have a customer API/order for that, but can do manually. Then we have to renumber it on to an actual line in the area, which is tricky. In theory we have lines in many areas where we are WLR3 and the number is not part of the service (it is not telephony we provide) but we would have to be damn sure that it breaks nothing and ideally only do this with consent of the user of the service, or at least some "at risk" notice. Once renumbered on to a line, we have to renumber and export it off. A better solution is probably work out how to number it on to a remote call forward service, which is possible, and then straight port that - would involve not risking a customer line in any way, which would be way better. In my case we had a spare line in our office I could use. So, as a service, we sort of need to spend a few days researching the right / clean way to do it for a start, do some test orders, and then ultimately offer as a service. It is something we could try as a one off maybe, but probably only for like a hundred quid or something to make it worth while.

    2. P.S. Step 1 - call the number and confirm it is not in service :-)