Three Fined by Ofcom due to Emergency Calls Failure
A hefty fine was imposed by Ofcom on Three, £1,890,000 to be exact due to calls not reaching the mobile network’s emergency services. The regulator was able to detect the single point of failure through their extensive investigation on Three’s 999/112 designated lines supposedly open for contact during distressed situations.
One of Ofcom’s critical requirements was the uninterrupted access to the aforementioned emergency services. The exposed vulnerability may have potentially prevented citizens of London and other parts from calling in serious cases that requires immediate assistance.
The culprit is the single date centre that should have had a back-up system in case of technical mishaps. The absence of a fail-safe procedure will disallow customers of access from time to time. Three acknowledges Ofcom’s decision and duly complied with the investigation resulting in a 30% reduction of previously larger amount.
Ofcom exclaimed that calls should have been diverted in order to address the requirements of having a 999 and 112 Emergency Line. However, it’s entirely not the case due to the mobile operator’s reliance on only a single point. This revealed weakness should be resolved at the soonest possible time. Three responded by now adding a back-up to share the load of a likely surge in emergency calls at any given time.
Three conceded the findings and will pay the fine within the time limit (20 days) set to be turned-over to HM Treasury.
CK Hutchison’s Three had a tough October when it had the said network failure on London, Kent, and Hampshire. Allegedly outside of their control, Three still needed to make the necessary additions to be ready. Ofcom has served both the fine and at the same time a warning to all mobile networks that the safety and even lives of people are at stake in case anyone’s emergency services numbers fail again.
Ofcom’s General Condition 3.1 “requires communications providers to take all the necessary measures to maintain, to the greatest extent possible, uninterrupted access to emergency organizations as part of any publicly available telephone offered.”
This was breached by Three, which was the verdict of Ofcom’s investigation on November 2016.