This page explains how calls to emergency services work and what options there are for the various voice services that we provide.
Our Voice over IP services allow calls to be made to emergency services by calling 999 or 112.
It is important to realise that our VoIP service are what is called an "over the top" service. It is a telephone service that is over the top of your Internet access service. This means that calling 999 or 112 may be unreliable because your underlying Internet access has failed. We would always recommend using a landline or even a mobile rather than using VoIP for calling 999 or 112.
You should also set up 'Location Data' for your number(s) - see below to learn more about doing this.
If you are using one of our SIP2SIM SIMs in a mobile, calls to 999 and 112 are handled directly on your phone and by the network to which your phone is connected The call will not pass through our network and will not be passed on to your PBX if the SIM is set up to do so.
We provide various data/broadband services including use of optical fibre, and copper pairs in various ways (SDSL, EFM, WLR3). In some cases, where using copper pairs, there is an actual telephone socket which could give the misleading impression that it is a telephone service of some sort.
Only where we are providing a telephone service which allows calls to numbers in the national dialling plan (normal phone numbers) do we also provide access to emergency services using 999 or 112.
This means that the "copper pair for broadband use" service we offer does not provide any access to emergency services using that copper pair/phone line.
If you have other services that do provide telephony, such as Mobile, or VoIP services, these can be used to access emergency services as normal.
An important aspect of calling 999 or 112 is that they know where you are in case you cannot talk.
For SIP2SIM this is handled by the mobile network as normal and they can use the cell ID to locate you roughly.
For our VoIP service this is done by providing BT, who provides us with access to emergency services, with an address where the phone service is normally used. We recommend you complete these details on our control pages so that we can advise BT. This can take a day to be updated, and is not "real time".
When you call 999 or 112 the Emergency Services see your number and can access the address details in the database.
If you do not use the phone from one fixed place you can omit these details or put in the details that you think will be most helpful. Remember that a silent call could result in police or ambulance going to the address you have specified, so only put an address if you think it will be useful.
See the Knowledge Base to find instructions on how to configure this.
Normally Emergency Services will see your number when you call 999 or 112. They may read it back to check it. They may try to call you back on the number.
However, there are some where cases Emergency Service will see a different telephone number when you call 999 or 112.
If you have a "presentation" number with us, where you normally give out a different calling line identity for calls, Emergency Serves will not see that but will normally see the number we have assigned to your service.
If you are calling from a mobile using our SIP2SIM SIMs then they will see what looks like a normal mobile number which you may not recognise. This may vary depending on the network you are on and may not be possible for them to call back.
In some cases, especially if you have ported your number to us, Emergency Services may see a completely different number starting 0200. This is what is called an Emergency Line Identification Number. We will allocate one of these automatically if you provide your location details and you are on a number where we cannot update BT. In that case we automatically allocate an 0200 number and update BT with the location details relating to that number. We then use that number when you call 999 or 112. You can see the 0200 number we have allocated on the control pages if you are interested.
In general it is best to advise the operator of a number on which they can call you back if necessary.