Compliance monitoring programme into access to emergency services during power outages

20 July 2023


Programme into The availability of access to emergency services during power outages
Case opened 11 July 2022
Case closed 20 July 2023

Ofcom’s role in regulating telecoms involves ensuring that consumers are protected from harm, including as the migration to VoIP takes place. This includes ensuring that providers take all necessary measures to ensure uninterrupted access to Emergency Organisations as part of any Voice Communications Service offered.

In October 2018, we published guidance on how providers can continue to meet their obligation to ensure uninterrupted access to emergency organisations during a power outage for those customers using voice communications services that are delivered over broadband. This compliance programme will look at whether providers are taking all necessary measures in accordance with the rules.

Relevant legal provision(s)

General Condition A3.2(b) of the General Conditions of Entitlement

Ofcom has now closed its compliance monitoring programme which was launched as an own-initiative programme to assess the availability of access to emergency services during power outages.

As part of the programme, we obtained information from a broad range of over 30 Communication Providers (CPs) to assess whether the requirements of General Conditions A3.2(b) - and our expectations as set out in our October 2018 consultation and guidance document (PDF, 1003.8 KB) on protecting access to emergency organisations when there is a power cut at a customer’s premises - are being met.

We gathered information from a range of CPs including network providers and broadband and VoIP providers.

From our research, and the information obtained from CPs, we were able to establish:

  • How providers are communicating and ensuring that their customers understand the risk that VoIP services, without specific backup, will not work in the event of a power cut
  • The resilience solutions offered by providers and how customers can request them
  • How providers are identifying customers who are landline dependent and consequently at risk.

The programme has not identified any significant compliance concerns which we consider require formal investigation. We welcome the collaborative engagement from CPs throughout the monitoring programme. That engagement has resulted in improvements being made to the measures they are taking to ensure they are compliant and protecting their customers.

We have also issued an open letter (PDF, 191.2 KB) to all CPs to remind them of their responsibilities and obligations under GCA3.2(b) and GCA3.3.


Enforcement team (

Case reference CW/01261/07/22