Emergency Call Charges

 

By Simon Woodhead

Please note our next rate update will unavoidably feature a 16% increase in the costs to call 999. Please note we don’t levy any monthly minimum’s for calls to 999, they are billed alongside normal call traffic for enabled customers.

This is the consequence of a 20% increase in the charges from BT (who operate the 999 service) in April and a further nearly 4% increase (against the pre-April price) effective this month for the operation of Video Relay, for which BT was “awarded” the wholesale contract.

Background to Video Relay (our response to Ofcom) is here but in short it is a video service which ISPs are required to provide access to, paid for by voice operators. Ofcom’s final statement is here, and the wider consultation is here.

We’re still trying to find any evidence of a tender process but BT’s “proposal” that they wholesale video relay is here; its route to us was distinctly indirect. We responded to this by way of a letter to Ofcom recommending that it be charge-controlled and raising numerous competitive consequences; we’ve been assured in reply that Ofcom will be keeping an eye on it. I’m sure we’ll all sleep soundly.