Category Archives: telephony

Fictitious telephone numbers

Most countries publish a telephone numbering plan, and this comes in very useful when setting up dial plans and normalization rules for Lync. It wasn’t until I was delving into the UK numbering plan that I found that large blocks of numbers in the UK are specifically reserved for “drama purposes” – in other words to use in films and TV shows. They are not allocated to anyone, and should not be allocated in the foreseeable future. This is much like the 555 convention used in the USA.

The full list is here – a total of 20,000 numbers to choose from! They include most major UK cities/areas, as well as mobile, freephone, premium rate and non-geographic.

What does this have to do with Lync? There are a few situations where they can be useful:

  • Customer documentation, especially example numbers or in generic templates.
  • Testing dial plans and PSTN usages, particularly for premium rate where you might not want to connect to a real one and pay over £1 a minute!
  • Validating that numbers across different area codes normalize correctly.

Australia has a similar scheme – the ACMA have a list of numbers for drama.

I’ve not come across any for other countries though – if you know of any, please get in touch!