If you’re operating a PECS or PECN service in the UK you must comply with the General Conditions.
One of these is GC4, providing access to the Emergency Services (999), and the provision of address data so – in the event of an emergency – the emergency services can find your customer.
All new Simwood accounts have calls to 999 barred by default. This is for your, and our, protection – preventing nuisance calls (e.g. by misconfigured PBXes that use 999 for voicemail!)
Before enabling access to 999 on your account, we ask that you pass some basic interop tests with our Operations Desk. These simply establish that you’re sending caller ID correctly and consistently, ensuring that this will be passed to the emergency operator.
These test calls do not complete, and we must remind customers that you cannot make ‘test calls’ to the live Emergency Services on 999 for any reason.
This testing is carried out once per account, there is no subsequent testing required should you add new equipment. However, if you are in any doubt about the CLI handling of any new platform you introduce, please don’t hesitate to contact the Operations Desk who will be happy to help.
There is no charge for this testing, it’s a one-off, it should only take a few minutes of your time.
We make it easier than ever before to comply with your obligations under General Condition 4 by allowing you to submit address data via the portal or API which we, in turn, submit to the EHA on your behalf.
The charge for this is £5 per submission or, alternatively, customers can pay a one-off fee of £500 for unlimited submissions via the portal or API.
The charge is, therefore, related to the size of your business and the quantity of numbers you have rather than being part of the interop process. We believe that providing your customers access to 999 is essential, and do not charge for enabling this.
Access to 999 must be provided free to end users. However, in line with the rest of the wholesale market, calls to 999 are chargeable and the rates are contained within our ratecard.
Whilst VoIP has come a long way, and access to 999 is easy to provide, we still recommend you remind customers that their VoIP service will not function in the event of a failure of power or internet connectivity, and having another means of calling 999 is strongly recommended.
Also, where possible, the emergency services should be accessible on both 112 and 999. Customers should map 112 to 999 on their own platforms before passing the call to Simwood.