The Telecommunications (Emergency Call Service) Determination 2009 (the Determination) specifies the obligations on carriers and carriage service providers who supply VoIP services with respect to providing access to emergency call services.
Carriage service providers must carry emergency calls free of charge and deliver them to interconnection points for handling by emergency call persons (ECPs). Telstra is the ECP for calls to 000 and 112 (the international mobile emergency number) and Australian Communications Exchange is the ECP for text calls to 106 from persons with a speech or hearing impairment.
The Determination applies to Type 4 two-way VoIP services and Type 2 VoIP out only services that are capable of dialling into the public switched telephone network.
The key obligations that apply to providers of Type 4 two-way services are to:
- provide free-of-charge access to the emergency call service numbers (Triple Zero (000), 112 and 106);
- populate the Integrated Public Number Database (IPND) with each public number of a customer and associated information, including an indication of possible location uncertainty by way of the alternate address flag; and
- provide location information by Standardised Mobile Service Area coding to the ECPs;
The key obligations that apply to providers of Type 2 out only services are:
- provision of free of charge access to Triple Zero (000); or
- if unable to do so, clearly inform customers that such access is not available. The Determination sets out minimum standards for how this information must be presented and requires the customer to acknowledge that they understand the limitations of the service. The ACMA recommends that the notice given to potential customers contain the following elements (or similar):
- This Outbound service does NOT provide ACCESS to or NO ACCESS or CANNOT BE USED
- to call TRIPLE ZERO or reach the EMERGENCY CALL SERVICE (Triple Zero/000) or TO MAKE AN EMERGENCY CALL to Triple Zero
- Calls to TRIPLE ZERO or THE EMERGENCY CALL SERVICE (TRIPLE ZERO/000) or EMERGENCY CALLS to TRIPLE ZERO can be made using LANDLINE, FIXED (or PSTN), or MOBILE phone services
Examples of appropriate Notices include:
- This VoIP Outbound service does not provide access to the emergency call service number Triple Zero. Emergency calls can be made using fixed/PSTN or mobile phone services.
- Please note that your VoIP Out service cannot be used to make an emergency call (Triple Zero). Please ensure you have access to a landline (i.e. fixed) or mobile phone service to dial emergency services.
Please note: Any notice given to potential customers that access to the emergency call service is unavailable must only apply to Type 2 one-way VoIP outbound services. This should not be confused with 2-way VoIP services, which are all required to provide access to the emergency call service (see section above).