Ofcom: Emergency Services access monitoring

Posted on: 13th July 2022, by Magrathea

Ofcom have recently announced a monitoring programme to look into whether telecoms providers are complying with the General Conditions around access to Emergency Services.

The outline of their current monitoring programme is focused around consumer access to emergency services during power outages. This is important, but will become even more so as we see the UK digital telephony migration forge forwards as the copper switch off draws closer. The nature of the beast is that digital technology needs on site power to work whereas the traditional copper does not and so provision for telephony to continue to function in the event of a power cut needs to be provided.

Access to the emergency services is arguably one of the most important aspects of providing a telephony service although we hope that we’d never have to use it – but if you do need to dial it, it needs to work!

Ofcom have released extensive guidelines about their expectations in this area, and their guidelines on maintaining emergency calling access during a power cut published in 2018 are worth a read to refresh your knowledge: https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0016/123118/guidance-emergency-access-power-cut.pdf

With the recent obligation to provide BSL video relay for Emergency Calls and this renewed focus on provision during power cuts, now would seem like a prudent time to review your compliance in all areas to this particular General Condition.

The General Conditions can be viewed in full here: https://www.ofcom.org.uk/phones-telecoms-and-internet/information-for-industry/telecoms-competition-regulation/general-conditions-of-entitlement

Magrathea offers a reliable and fully tested service to connect your customer’s calls to the Emergency Services.  To assist with your obligation to pre-submit your customer’s address data to the Emergency Services database, our straightforward APIs can be used for name and address submission.

We can also provide daily reporting, so you can audit your own data against the records you have submitted to the EHA database via our API.

Our experienced team are on hand to assist with any questions you have about day to day issues or the wider implementation of the provision of emergency dialling. We were the first VoIP network in the UK to fully integrate with the Emergency Call Handling authorities and are still actively involved now with the industry and regulatory working groups in this area.

Please do contact us on support@magrathea-telecom.co.uk – we are very happy to help.