The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) recently undertook a Review of the Emergency Call Service (ECS) Determination. The ECS Determination imposes requirements on carriers, carriage service providers and emergency call persons regarding access to the emergency call service. The purpose of this Review was to consider whether the ECS Determination is still relevant and whether its obligations remain consistent and robust. This Review was recommended by the Department of Communications and the Arts, in its report into the Triple Zero service disruptions in May 2018.

ACCAN made a submission to the ACMA’s Review, in which we provided recommendations about how the emergency call service could be made more accessible and more reliable.

Some of ACCAN’s recommendations included that:

  • The ECS Determination be made technology neutral to future proof and modernise the ECS, allowing for new technologies to be introduced to increase the accessibility of the ECS.
  • All existing single points of failure within the Triple Zero system are eliminated, as a diverse ECS system which has in-built redundancies will provide greater reliability for people who are attempting to contact emergency services.
  • Protections for end-users of the ECS should be strengthened by ensuring clear and enforceable regulations are in place, and by maintaining performance benchmarks.

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