A customer of one of ITSPA’s members complained to Ofcom recently. He was unhappy about having to provide his address for the use by the Emergency Services in the event that he ever had to dial 999. His position was that the reason he had a VoIP service was that he was able to use it from many locations. Providing information regarding one location was therefore pointless (he said).
The Ofcom reply said:
“Ofcom’s view on this is that location information should be provided to the emergency services in cases where the service is being used at a predominantly fixed location. As such, nomadic users will not have their address provided to the emergency services.”
This is a useful clarification by Ofcom. VoIP users with an inbound number are in any case flagged as such if they dial 999. The operator knows to ask for confirmation of location.
The problem lies with silent calls or calls to 999 that are immediately terminated upon answer. There could be a totally innocent reason for this. For example my 4 year old son once dialled 999 by repeatedly hitting the randomly selected number 9 on our home phone. I received a callback and rebuke from the operator for letting the little dear waste their time.
However there may of course be reasons why the call was terminated that are of genuine concern. Granny consumed in the flames, attacker putting the phone down forcibly or caller collapsing on top of the phone spring to mind. You can use your own imagination here.
Because of this Timico will at least record the main company address of their VoIP users even though we know that a great many of our customers are nomadic users.