|Investigation into||British Telecommunications plc (BT)|
|Case opened||19 September 2019|
|Case closed||05 October 2020|
We examined whether BT has complied with its obligations under section 105A(4) of the Communications Act 2003 and the General Conditions A3.2(b), A3.5 and A3.6 with regards to the network outage experienced on 21 May 2019. We concluded that there was no evidence to suggest that BT/EE had contravened its obligations and have therefore closed this case.
|Relevant legal provision(s)||
Section 105A(4) of the Communications Act 2003 and the General Conditions A3.2(b), A3.5 and A3.6
We have concluded our investigation into BT Group/EE Ltd regarding compliance with section 105A(4) of the Communications Act 2003, and Ofcom General Conditions A3.2b, A3.5 and A3.6. These provisions require providers to ensure customers have continued access to their networks – including the ability to call emergency services.
This investigation followed a mobile network outage in 2019, which affected customers on the EE network. After reviewing a substantial body of evidence gathered in our investigation, we did not find anything to suggest that BT/EE had contravened its obligations and have therefore closed this case.
Nevertheless, this incident highlights the need for providers to regularly review the measures they have in place to protect their networks and manage potential risks, so customers can continue to access their services whenever they need to.
Following a mobile network outage on 21 May 2019, Ofcom has decided to open an investigation into whether BT has complied with its obligations under section 105A(4) of the Communications Act 2003 (the Act) and the General Conditions A3.2(b), A3.5 and A3.6.
Section 105A(4) of the Act requires a network provider to “take all appropriate steps to protect, so far as possible, the availability of the provider’s public electronic communications network”.
The relevant General Conditions provide:
“A3.2 Regulated Providers must take all necessary measures to ensure: […]
(b) uninterrupted access to Emergency Organisations as part of any Publicly Available Telephone Services offered.”
"A3.5 Regulated Providers shall, to the extent technically feasible, make accurate and reliable Caller Location Information available for all calls to the emergency call numbers "112" and "999", at no charge to the Emergency Organisations handling those calls, at the time the call is answered by those organisations.
A3.6 In order to make accurate and reliable Caller Location Information available to the Emergency Organisations handling the calls to "112" and "999", a Regulated Provider must comply with the following requirements:
As we explain in our Enforcement Guidelines, opening an investigation does not imply that we have yet formed any view about whether or not the company has breached any regulatory or legal provisions. We aim to complete the evidence gathering phase of the investigation by December 2019.
Carla Villante (email@example.com)