Govt to increase scrutiny on Telecom 111 calls

Move follows problems with 111 calls earlier this year

Telecom will have to report regularly to the Government on the 111 service, Communications and Information Technology Minister Steven Joyce says. He has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the firm and the Crown, he announced today. It follows an inquiry into problems which saw the 111 service go down in February when Telecom was experiencing problems with its XT network. At the time Joyce said he would look at imposing sanctions on the telecommunications giant. "The focus of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is on the reliability of the 111 service. It clarifies Telecom's responsibilities and provides for greater transparency of Telecom's performance," he says. "The Government will have increased scrutiny over Telecom's management documentation for the 111 system and Telecom will provide the Government with regular reports on key service measures for 111 calls. The Government with emergency service providers, telecommunications industry service providers, and Telecom will now develop the ''long term governance model'' for the 111 service, he said.

"The MOU ...provides for improved coordination of planning for the 111 service and sets out a timeframe for a cooperative review of governance of the 111 service by the end of this year.'' About 30 emergency calls failed to get through after a fault at Telecom's exchange at Papatoetoe, south Auckland, early on February 26. A review by the company, released in July, said a government agency should have oversight of emergency telephone services.

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