10 Jul 2010

Telecom wants Government to handle 111 system

5:26 pm on 10 July 2010

The Government says it will review who should govern the 111 emergency telephone system.

Telecom says that there is a need for a lead Government agency to have oversight of the system.

It says the telecommunications landscape is changing with 60% of 111 calls now coming from mobile phones.

Minister of Communications and Information Technology Steven Joyce says he will review the system's governance.

He says the Crown and Telecom need to have a clear understanding of their relationship, and also whether other network providers should play a role in future 111 management plans.

Telecom has been managing the 111 service under the Telecommunications Service Obligations deed for the past 20 years.

The company has released a report following a major service failure earlier this year.

The fault at its Papatoetoe exchange, which lasted several hours on 26 February, meant 33 emergency phone calls were not connected.

Telecom says it has spent millions of dollars upgrading its systems.

The company says the reliability of emergency calls relies on several factors, including the customer's handset, their service provider and the way emergency service call centres are run.