Principles for Use of Isle of Man Numbers


Isle of Man fixed telephone numbers, which are a finite resource, are allocated by
Ofcom under the UK National Numbering Scheme. Policy for the use of IOM
numbers is the responsibility of the Communications Commission. The Commission
is concerned to clarify who should have access to IOM numbers, and what rules
should govern the use of IOM numbers. This concern is prompted by differences
between the UK and the IOM in their approach to the link between a “fixed” number
and its geographic location, and by technological developments which mean that
previously “fixed” numbers are no longer necessarily physically fixed to a location.
It is the Commission’s view that 01624 numbers should be associated as clearly as
possible with use by IOM business and residential customers. This differs from the
situation in the UK, where the area code no longer reliably signifies a geographic

In particular, operators should be mindful of the danger of ‘holding out’. Any person
that undertakes an activity, in or from the Isle of Man, that requires licensing or
authorisation by the Isle of Man Financial Services Authority must hold the
appropriate licence or authorisation. Full details of such activities can be found on
the Isle of Man Financial Services Authority’s website (see, and
include activities such as deposit taking, insurance business, investment business,
insurance intermediaries, payment services, trust and corporate services etc. It is a
criminal offence if a person hold themselves out as carrying on such activity in or
from the Isle of Man without the appropriate permissions. "Holding out" can be
inferred from various matters, including, for example, the use of an Isle of Man
address, fax number, telephone number, website, domain name or email address.

Having Isle of Man numbers associated with services provided by Isle of Man
licensed operators to customers who can demonstrate a physical presence in the
Island will make it more difficult for businesses to ‘hold-out’ that they are from the
Isle of Man when they are not.

This document sets out principles for how operators may access 01624 numbers,
and how the use of these numbers should be managed.

Access to 01624 numbers

Only holders of a full IOM telecoms licence can apply to and receive 01624 numbers
from Ofcom. An ISP which wants to obtain IOM numbers would therefore have to
access these from a full IOM licensed telecom operator. It is the responsibility of the
full IOM licensed telecom operator to ensure that it follows the principles set out, and
also it is the responsibility of the full IOM licensed telecom operator to ensure that
any organisation to which it provides numbers follows the principles which are set
out in this document. If the full IOM licensed telecom operator decides to provide
numbers to an ISP, it should require the ISP to make the same commitments which
are set out in this document, and this should form part of the telecom operator’s
contract with the ISP. All of the following principles therefore apply to the full IOM
operator providing numbers to its retail customers, and to any ISP to which the IOM
operator provides numbers.

Attaching a number to a service

It is recognised that the number is attached to a service, not necessarily to a
physical location. This means that a retail customer may use a service provided in
the IOM and using IOM numbers when off-island, but the customer must be able to
demonstrate their relationship with the IOM.
IOM numbers should not be associated (spoofed) with another number or service,
and so IOM operators must be able to provide appropriate assurance of the validity
(directly or indirectly) of the Calling Line Identification (CLI) information.

Demonstration of end customer location

The full IOM telecoms operator or ISP should only provide numbers to a retail
customer which can demonstrate that it has a physical presence in the IOM. The
operator should take reasonable steps to require proof of the customer’s physical
address in the IOM. For example, the operator/ISP should maintain records that
demonstrate that the customer has an address in the IOM.
Operators should be able to provide adequate emergency call routing (in respect of
the user’s location) and presentation of accurate CLI and customer address
information should it be required by the emergency services.

Requirements for legal intercept

There is a duty imposed on persons operating public telecommunications systems to
supply information to the Interception Commissioner (Interception of
Communications Act 1988). The IOM telecoms operator must take all reasonable
steps to ensure that it can comply with any requests for legal intercept.



Page Last Updated June 2018