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Ofcom rules VoIP companies must allow calls to emergency services.


UK telecomms regulator Ofcom has ruled that companies routing phone calls across the Internet must enable their users to connect to 999 and 112, with companies given until September 2008 to comply with the ruling.

Ofcom said the ruling applies to companies which allow customers to call normal national phone numbers in order to ensure that users can request help as quickly as possible during an emergency. Internet phone companies have not, until now, been required to connect to emergency numbers.

Ofcom claimed that users having to locate a phone to call the emergency services during an emergency might worsen an already serious situation.

An Ofcom survey reportedly found that 78% of those using net phone services which are unable to connect to emergency services, thought it was already possible to make an emergency call on the network.

Services which only enable users to call other people on the same VoIP network, or that only let customers receive calls from normal phone numbers, are excluded from the ruling, according to BBC News.

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Publication:Internet Business News
Date:Dec 7, 2007
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