Monday, 7 April 2014

VoIP UK Short Dial Codes and Emergency Services

In an update to our VoIP platform late last week, I am pleased to advise our VoIP customers will now be able to call the following short code numbers.

a. 101 - This is the police none emergency number and replaces the "reception desk" number previously used to contact your local police station. Calls are handled by a semi-automated system and you are asked for the name or area of the local police force upon calling it and are then transferred.

b. 111 - This is the NHS "none emergency" number. The NHS quote "You can call 111 when you need medical help fast but it’s not a 999 emergency. NHS 111 is a fast and easy way to get the right help, whatever the time" Once again there is a semi-automated call directing service when you call.

c. 116xxx - This is a relatively new number range, six digits long, commencing 116, an example being 116111 (NSPCC) and is typically helplines. Ofcom has some further detail and examples here: http://consumers.ofcom.org.uk/2010/07/ofcom-makes-two-new-116-helpline-numbers-available/

d. 999 - This of course is the traditional UK emergency services number. Calls are handled by various call centres around the country and you should expect to be asked for your full address when you call as VoIP calls are of course not necessarily in a a fixed location, despite what the address details recorded against the number may imply. All calls to 999 are specifically tagged as location agnostic to ensure the location is requested in the call.

Despite the fact 101 calls are chargeable (to us by the terminating telco) we at C.C.S. deem all emergency services calls are important and therefore will not be charging for connection or time spent on the phone for any of these numbers. They are all completely free of charge.

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