Telecoms' regulator Oftel has confirmed that the rules on Calling Line Identification numbers are to be relaxed.

Under the new rules, companies will have greater freedom to provide their own CLI numbers for display on the equipment of the person receiving the telephone call.

CLI is the service that displays a caller's number to the customer at the other end of the line. The current rules only allow the CLI to be passed on to the customer if it can be verified by the network.

The safeguard was introduced to ensure that numbers shown really did refer to the telephone from which the call was being made.

From March 1 a new law will give customers the right to reject all calls where the CLI is withheld.