The mobile provider Three has been fined almost £1.9 million for failing to ensure that customers could contact emergency services at all times.
An investigation by Ofcom found Three broke rules designed to ensure everyone can contact the emergency services at all times, which the regulator said was of the utmost importance to public health and safety.
Ofcom fined Three £1.89m after discovering the weakness in the mobile operator’s emergency call network.
Back in October 2016, Three notified Ofcom of a temporary loss of service affecting customers located in Hampshire, Kent and parts of London.
The investigation conducted by Ofcom discovered that emergency calls from customers in the affected areas had to pass through a certain data centre in order to reach the emergency services, meaning Three’s emergency call service was vulnerable to a single point of failure.
Ofcom stated that Three’s network should have automatically diverted emergency calls via backup routes in the event of a local outage. But these backup routes would also have failed as they were all different to this one certain point.
An Underlying Weakness – 360group – Phone Systems Cambridgeshire
In order to resolve the incident and address the underlying network weakness, Three added an extra backup route to carry emergency call traffic.
Ofcom found Three had breached the requirement to ensure uninterrupted access to the emergency services. Ofcom said the network has not acted deliberately or recklessly, but the fine reflected the seriousness of the breach, given the potential consequences.
The investigation has now been concluded and the penalty includes a 30% reduction to reflect the cooperation offered by Three during the investigation, including admitting the breaches identified by Ofcom.
The fine must be paid within the next 20 working days, or it will be passed on to the Treasury.
360group – Phone Systems Cambridgeshire
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