Own-initiative investigation against THUS plc about compliance with General Condition 4 (Emergency Call Numbers)

30 March 2009

Complainant: Ofcom own-initiative investigation
Investigation against: THUS plc (THUS)
Case opened: 15 August 2008
Investigation closed: 6 November 2008
Case closed: 27 March 2009
Issue: Compliance with the obligation that Communications Providers shall, to the extent technically feasible, make Caller Location Information for all calls to emergency call numbers available to the Emergency Organisations handling those calls
Relevant Instrument: General Condition 4 of the General Conditions of Entitlement (GC 4)

Update note 30 March 2008

Since the closure of this investigation Ofcom has been monitoring THUSs compliance with the requirements of the notification. In particular Ofcom wished to ensure that THUS completed a verification exercise designed to ensure data on its customer databases indicates the geographic location of the customer as well as ensure there are no discrepancies between its customer databases and those available to emergency organisations, to the extent technically feasible.

Ofcom has completed its monitoring in this matter and is now satisfied that THUS has taken the appropriate action required by the notification. Ofcom is, in any case, continuing to monitor compliance of all Communications Providers via its Enforcement Programme into fixed-line and VoIP providers compliance with GC4.

On this basis Ofcom has closed this case.

End of update note

Update note 1 December 2008

A non-confidential version of the notification issued to THUS under Section 94 of the Communications Act 2003 on 6 November 2008 has now been prepared and can be found at the link below.

End of update note

Update Note 7 November 2008

On 6 November 2008 Ofcom issued a notification to THUS under section 94 of the Communications Act 2003. The notification sets out that there are reasonable grounds to believe that THUS has failed to make Caller Location Information for all 999 calls available to the Emergency Organisations to the extent technically feasible, in compliance with General Condition 4.2.
The notification therefore requires THUS to take the following actions by 8 December 2008:

  • to ensure data on its customer databases indicates the geographic location of the customer;
  • to ensure that, to the extent technically feasible, there are no discrepancies between its customer databases and those available to emergency organisations; and
  • to make any relevant representations to Ofcom about the matters contained in the notification and explanatory statement.

Ofcom will monitor THUSs compliance with this notification.

A non-confidential version of the notification is currently being prepared and will be published shortly.

Text published when the case was opened

Under GC 4 THUS is required to ensure that its customers can access Emergency Organisations by using emergency call numbers, including the 999 number. THUS is also required, to the extent technically feasible, to make Caller Location Information for all 999 calls available to the Emergency Organisations handling those calls.

Ofcom considers the provision of Caller Location Information by Communications Providers to Emergency Organisations to be of vital importance. Ofcoms investigation will examine whether THUS is compliant with the requirements of GC 4.

Case Leader: Sue Merrifield ( e-mail:sue.merrifield@ofcom.org.uk)
Case Reference: CW/00994/07/09