Further consultation: Emergency video relay

  • Start: 16 February 2021
  • Status: Closed
  • End: 30 March 2021

We want to make sure disabled people can access the communications services they need in an emergency.

Video relay services are a way of enabling people who use British Sign Language (BSL) to communicate effectively with people who don’t use BSL.

The deaf user makes a video call by using a connected device to call an interpreter in a call centre. The interpreter translates what the deaf user is signing into spoken English for the emergency services to hear, and signs what the emergency services are saying to the deaf end-user.

In December 2019, we published proposals (PDF, 2.1 MB) to require communications providers to make available a free, 24/7 video relay service for deaf BSL users to enable them to communicate with the emergency services.

Our proposal was part of a package of measures to improve protection for consumers as part of the implementation of the European Electronic Communications Code (EECC) directive. It reflects the principle that disabled people should have equivalent access to emergency communications.

The proposals in our initial consultation received broad support, but responses raised some specific points which are the subject of this further consultation.

There is a British Sign Language video about these proposals.

Main documents

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Responder name Type
Andrews & Arnold (PDF File, 181.6 KB) Organisation
BT (PDF File, 129.4 KB) Organisation
Business Carrier Coalition (PDF File, 597.7 KB) Organisation
BUUK (PDF File, 353.7 KB) Organisation
Deaf charities (PDF File, 127.5 KB) Organisation
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