Statement on Next Generation Text Relay

17 April 2014

In response to the delay to the launch of the Next Generation Text Relay Service, Claudio Pollack, Ofcom's consumer director said:

"Ofcom is very disappointed that a Next Generation Text Relay service, developed by BT, will now not be launched this Friday - a long-standing deadline set by Ofcom 18 months ago. The rules put in place by Ofcom to protect the interests of disabled consumers require that a next generation text relay service must be made available by all landline and mobile providers from 18 April 2014.

"BT informed Ofcom this week that testing has revealed technical problems relating to the connection of emergency calls. Access to emergency calls is a critical factor underpinning Ofcom's approval of any Next Generation Text Relay service.

"Our first priority is to ensure that BT, with any necessary co-operation from the rest of industry, does what is needed to deliver a fully operational service as soon as possible. We will also investigate the circumstances behind the delay."