Guidance published 10 October 2018
A critically important function of the telephone network is to allow people to contact the emergency services. For this reason, there is a regulatory obligation on communications providers (providers) in General Condition A3 to take all necessary measures to ensure uninterrupted access to emergency organisations for their customers.
Following a public consultation, this document confirms Ofcom’s final guidance on how providers can meet their obligations as customers move from traditional landline services to phone services over a broadband connection (known as ‘Voice over Internet Protocol’ (VoIP)). The underlying requirements have not changed and the guidance is not intended to be the definitive guide on how providers should comply with the obligations. Instead, the guidance sets out Ofcom’s expectations on the measures they should have in place to ensure customers making calls over broadband are able to make emergency calls in the event of a power cut at their premises. It takes the form of four Principles for providers to follow.
In light of the specific circumstances of each case, Ofcom will take account of providers’ regard to these four Principles when assessing whether they are meeting their obligations.