The obligations on VoIP services providers regarding emergency call services are specified in Telecommunications (Emergency Call Service) Determination 2009 (the Determination).
Carriage service providers (CSPs) 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.
Key obligations for Type 4 two-way services:
- 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
Key obligations for Type 2 out only services:
- 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. Customer must acknowledge they understand the limitations of the service
The ACMA recommends customers are given appropriate information regarding making emergency calls such as:
- 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.