The UK\u2019s Office of Communications (Ofcom) announced that it has received \u00a3700,000 ($917,000) from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to explore the use of blockchain technology for the management of landline numbers under its jurisdiction. In its statement, Ofcom said, \u201cBetween now and April 2020, we\u2019ll be inviting industry participants to trial the porting and management of millions of telephone numbers using blockchain and ledger technology.\u201d Hindrances to managing a database for such a purpose were high costs and difficulty in collaborating among parties. Ofcom said, \u201cWe have the chance to test the solution before it is rolled out across the industry. We plan to share key learnings, best practices, and the underlying code base, where applicable, with other regulators.\u201d The benefits of the study, it said, would not just be limited to Ofcom\u2019s mandate, due to other participants in the project. Ofcom Chief Technology Officer Mansoor Hanif said, \u201cWe will be working with industry to explore how blockchain could make it quicker and easier for landline customers to switch providers while keeping their number \u2013 as well as reducing nuisance calls.\u201d The agency said that there were about 1 billion landline numbers already in use or reserved, which are issued to telecommunications companies. The challenge, according to Ofcom, was with telco networks moving \u201cfrom traditional analogue telephone lines to an all-IP (internet protocol) infrastructure.\u201d Ofcom said that blockchain could help in the process, by facilitating the moving of a number between providers, better handle fraud and nuisance calls, lower costs, and \u201cincreased industry agility.\u201d \u201cBlockchain allows for greater transparency between users and uses underlying open-source software code. It is resilient because the number database can be replicated with each user having a copy. Updates can also be seen in real-time, by all users, but cannot be added to the register,\u201d the agency said. The BEIS was created in 2016, replacing the Department of Energy and Climate Change, and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.