A network failure which meant that Hull residents could not dial 999 calls for four hours has cost the outfit responsible £900,000.
KCOM was investigated by Ofcom after residents in the Hull area could not connect 999 calls between around 21:58 on 27 December and 1:43 on the following day.
The supplier provides the phone and broadband network for most of the Hull area, was reprimanded by Ofcom after the regulatory body found “a serious weakness” in the firm’s emergency call services.
Gaucho Rasmussen, Ofcom’s enforcement and investigations director, said: “Ofcom rules mean that people must be able to call the emergency services around the clock.
“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.”
Storm Eva in 2015 on the day of the incident meant that a BT telephone exchange in York, which connected calls from KCOM’s network to the emergency services through BT, had flooded. KCOM had contingency plans in place, but these relied on the same exchange being operational.
There were more than 74 calls to the emergency services, from 34 telephone numbers which failed to connect through the four-hour period.
Ofcom acknowledged that KCOM had addressed the problem within two hours of discovering it, but said the firm still warranted a fine that “reflects the seriousness of the breach and its impact on public health and safety”.
In a statement sent to CRN KCOM said: “We recognise the critical importance of providing our customers with uninterrupted access to emergency call services and take that responsibility extremely seriously.
“During Storm Eva in 2015 the loss of our 999 service was a result of a single point of failure in another operator’s exchange in York.
“Our emergency call services are managed through long-standing external outsourcing arrangements. In establishing them, we sought to ensure diverse and resilient routing which Ofcom has acknowledged in its findings.
“We’re very sorry this happened and immediately after the incident we ensured steps were taken to remove this network vulnerability.”
UK comms watchdog Ofcom has torn a strip off the rump of the telco services provider KCOM for failing maintain emergency services access in Hull.
KCOM notified Ofcom in February 2016 that its phone service in the region had suffered a “temporary reduction in availability” which is apparently what you say when the emergency service are Hull on Toast.
Ofcom said it had reasonable grounds for believing that KCOM failed to take sufficient measures to maintain uninterrupted telephone access to emergency services on 999 and 112.
The outfit had failed to comply with its obligations in relation to network security and access to emergency services from 25 February 2009 to 28 December 2015, he watchdog growled.
It added:”KCOM now has an opportunity to make representations to Ofcom on the matters contained in the Notification before Ofcom makes a final decision in accordance with section 96C of the Communications Act 2003″
Hull is unique in that the vast majority of residents and most businesses in Hull, Cottingham and Beverley are served only with telecoms services by KCOM.
The outfit is pretty hacked off with the infrastructure market anyway and has flogged its national comms infrastructure – excluding Hull and East Yorkshire – to CityFibre for £90m last year.
Kcom has got some more Cisco certification on its roster that open it up to selling and delivering further Cisco’s cloud products.
The programme gives partners cash rewards for selling cloud services as well as other incentives.
From getting the Cisco Master Service Provider certification, Kcom will now be able to flog at least two Cisco services, that is, managed or cloud services labelled Cisco Powered.
The service designation are in Cisco Powered Hosted Collaboration Solution and Cisco Powered Managed Hosted Collaboration for Contact Center, complementing the company\s existing services.
The idea is to use Cisco Powered services to boost connectivity to boost customer connectivity and take away unnecessary technology to reduce both cost and risk. For their buck they get 24/7 partner and Cisco support plus the sway of a big name.