KCOM fined £900,000 for 999 Storm Eva fails

KCOM fined £900,000 for 999 Storm Eva fails

Tuesday, 8 August, 2017

The industry regulator Ofcom has fined Hull broadband provider KCOM nearly £1 million for failings in its emergency calls service.

KCOM broke an important rule crucial to public safety that says everyone should be able to contact the emergency services at all times.

Ofcom discovered the “serious weakness” in KCOM’s system during the heavy weather difficulties when Storm Eva battered the UK in late 2015 and early 2016.

Tens of thousands of homes were flooded and families evacuated after flash flooding from heavy, sustained rainfall swept the country.

But KCOM were relying on a single telephone exchange in York to connect these emergency calls, which itself flooded in the wake of Storm Eva.

It meant some residents who tried to make calls to the police, fire or ambulance service in the face of rising floodwaters couldn’t get through.

In total 74 calls from 34 different phone numbers failed to connect for around four hours.

Mobile provider Three was hit with a £2 million fine in July 2017 after Ofcom found similar failings in its 999 emergency calls system.

Ofcom rules say that users must be able to get through to 999 operators even if mobile networks are down or overloaded.

Gaucho Rasmussen, Ofcom’s Enforcement and Investigations Director, said: “Any failure to connect 999 calls is extremely serious.

“Today’s fine serves as a clear warning to the telecoms industry that it must prioritise access to the emergency services, no matter what the circumstances.”

The £900,000 fine must be paid within 20 days and will be passed on the HM Treasury.

MAIN IMAGE: Andy Pratt

Tom Rodgers author picture


Tom is a tech journalist and former Editor at BroadbandDeals.co.uk.

News What's the story?

Keep up with the latest developments in UK broadband.

TalkTalk offers exclusive £80 reward to new fibre customers

The huge bonus is available to anyone signing up for a 'Faster Fibre' bundle through BroadbandDeals.co.uk

TalkTalk offers exclusive £80 reward to new fibre customers Read more

TikTok ‘gifts’ empty kids piggy banks

Children are most vulnerable to 'influencer' donation pleas

Read more

Netflix ruins 90’s cartoon, enrages internet

The streaming giant came in for criticism for 'straightwashing' Japanese cult classic anime.

Read more

Porn-block pushed back by clerical errors

Further delays to the child-protection measure, with the process mocked as an 'utter shambles'.

Read more

How to watch Wimbledon online for free

How to make sure you don't miss out on the action from your favourite sports stars.

Read more

Fast fines for ISPs could end the “Loyalty Penalty”

But could the proposed measures mean worse deals for those who shop around?

Fast fines for ISPs could end the “Loyalty Penalty” Read more

Boris Johnson mocks full-fibre roll-out plans

The likely next PM boasts plans to beat current targets by 8 years, but is it all just hot air?

Read more

Broadband and phone companies to put Fairness first

Telecoms providers commit to raising standards.

Read more

UK to get legal right to decent and affordable broadband

New legislation will ensure minimum speeds for every UK household.

Read more

GDPR – One year on

The landmark legislation gave people the ‘right to know’ when their data had been hacked.

Read more

Slow broadband is costing us £2.2bn extra a year

Read more

Help Learn with us

Make the most of the internet with our broadband library.

Protecting your small business against cyber attacks

Protecting your small business against cyber attacks Read more

Could 5G end fixed-line home broadband?

Read more

How broadband availability varies across the UK

Read more

Which social media platforms should I be on?

Read more

Will you get online on holiday?

Stay connected during your get-away.

Read more

Make the most of your broadband overnight

Read more

The main causes of slow internet connections

Slow broadband can be more than just an irritant - but what causes it, and what can we do to fight back?

The main causes of slow internet connections Read more

Do you need to ramp up your broadband controls?

Read more

The different types of home computer

Read more

Will we all need gigabit broadband one day?

Read more

Explaining broadband industry jargon

Read more
Back To Top