Fined for not providing access to 999 and 112 Emergency Services

VoIP /

Following an investigation, Ofcom has imposed a £24,500 fine to cloud communications company 'Vonage' for failing to provide uninterrupted access to 999 and 112 Emergency services.

The Rules
Ofcom's General Condition 3.1 rule requires that communication providers take all necessary measures to maintain, to the greatest extent possible; the proper and effective functioning of the public communications network at all times, and uninterrupted access to emergency organisations for their end-users.

On top of that Section 105A(4) of the Communications Act 2003, requires communication providers to take all appropriate steps to protect, “so far as possible,” the availability of the provider’s public electronic communications network.

What went wrong?
Vonage has said that they made some “technical changes” to the way calls were routed on their network, these changes affected Vonage's Emergency access services which resulted in customers not being able to call the 999 or 112 Emergency Services numbers.

Ofcom has blamed Vonage for failing to complete emergency call testing following the technical changes. Although Vonage carried out testing for regular calls, it failed to test the 999 and 112 Emergency numbers as part of the testing process.

Ofcom Statement
Our investigation concluded that Vonage had broken our rules, which require communications providers to maintain uninterrupted access to the emergency services.

We have imposed a penalty of £24,500 on the company. This figure includes a 30% discount as a result of Vonage admitting liability and agreeing to settle the case.

Thoughts from TTNC
We're pleased to see how Ofcom is taking firm action on companies who break the rules. As Voice over IP continues to grow, it is crucial for Ofcom to hold communication providers to account to protect end-users.

Access to the UK Emergency services is available when using TTNC SIP Trunks. We work with the Emergency Handling Authority (EHA) and Ofcom and pass on the address of where calls are being made from, to the EHA which is made available to the relevant emergency service.

If you would like more information, please visit: https://www.ttnc.co.uk/about-us/emergency-access

Mark Burcher