Yahoo! Groups has been used in the management of UK phone numbers by mobile networks for some reason, and now it's shutting down.
This won't necessarily cause a huge problem, but has lead to criticisms as to why it has played such a big part in the UK's phone number infrastructure. After a tweet highlighting the part that the Yahoo! Group plays in phone number management garnered attention on Twitter, Ofcom responded stating that while it does have "an online group for number management," it's not reliant on it as it has its own official database.
Hello, this isn't entirely accurate - the UK does not rely on an online group for number management. For clarity, please have a read below where we've outlined the facts. pic.twitter.com/6Vs68MmRlL
— Ofcom (@Ofcom) October 17, 2019
The group is mainly utilised by telecoms companies to inform one another of their allocated blocks of phone numbers. When asked if it has an official process in place in lieu of Yahoo! Groups for networks to exchange this info, Ofcom said it updates its site on a weekly basis with allocation information, but that it doesn't "actively notify all of the phone companies as they’re aware of the regular update schedule."
Talking to The Verge, CEO of telecoms company Simwood, Simon Woodhead, said, "My understanding is that [the group] will still function as a mailing list, which is for all practical purposes, what people use this as.
"But quite frankly, the world’s fifth largest economy, or whatever we are now, relying on a Yahoo group to administer critical national infrastructure is embarrassing.”
Yahoo! Groups is shutting down on December 14, so we'll see if Ofcom plans to do anything in terms of a new management system or not. [The Verge]