Yahoo Groups to shut-down – Would UK’s ‘informal’ telecom setup be affected?

Yahoo, that was a famous Internet giant a few years back is no longer as popular as it used to be. And now, the latest piece of information is that Yahoo Groups is bidding adieu. Means that the information available there would no longer be available after mid-December. Moreover, there will not be any kind of content uploaded there starting on October 28. All available content on the site would be erased by December 12. However, if one wishes to save data, it can be done so using email and private groups on the site.

Though not many people use Yahoo Groups, there could be a few who may be affected by this closure. Particularly the Office of Telecommunications (known as Oftel), which is a government organization in the UK responsible for handling its telecom infrastructure.

A Twitter user came across a tweet (by a UK national) which said that a part of critical national infrastructure would also go away along with the Yahoo Groups. A link to an Ofcom’s document tells that the number ranges are filled with data on various networks with the help of Ofcom Yahoo Group.

A report prepared in 2015 by Simwood, a top telecommunications service provider in England, states that: “A review might consider whether it is befitting for the world’s sixth-largest economy to manage critical national infrastructure via a Yahoo group, but we would hope that is obvious.” This statement also referred to in the tweet.

Ofcom (or the Oftel) manages the United Kingdom’s phone number tasks. Ofcom, which also called as Office of Communications, is quite similar to America’s Federal Communications Commission. One of the main tasks which it performs is handling the telephone numbers in the UK. This company provides phone numbers in groups of 10,000 to different telecom companies. These companies, in turn, activate these phone numbers such that they can be used on their networks.

However, an official from Ofcom, who did not wish to be named, stated that Ofcom is not wholly dependent on Yahoo Groups for its business benefits. In response to the tweet shared by the user, Ofcom replied that all the UK telephone numbers are handled through their official database (Ofcom database) only, and not with the help of any online groups.

According to this spokesperson, the particular Yahoo Group is just an informal way to let telecom companies know when they have been provided with phone numbers by Ofcom. He also stated that all phone numbers are available to telecom companies through Ofcom’s official website only.

However, Simon Woodhead, CEO of Simwood (the company that prepared the 2015 report), feels that Yahoo Groups could be quite useful from the perspective of letting telecom companies know how the phone numbers are being distributed to them. He also stated that Yahoo Groups could be the only way by which UK phone providers get to know who their competitors are. The only way for telephone operators to notify their active number ranges to each other can be done only through the Oftel Yahoo Group, according to Woodhead.

The Yahoo Group could also be essential for letting telephone operators know the amount to be charged per call. The group would let operators know the exact rates of calls by updating the rate card regularly.

Yahoo plans to delete all of its group data, which includes any files, photos, emails, attachments or even any kind of message updates around mid-December. However, email functionality is expected to work even beyond that, which may not be a hindrance to any work handled by the UK telecommunications.

Bravo Roger

Bravo Roger is an Android mobile app developer efficient in application architecture, development and discovery of new feature improvement to encourage mobile consumer solutions. He has an extensive background in Android design and development. Additionally, being a fitness freak, he spends his time in the gym, running on a treadmill or lifting dumbbells!

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