Monumental Telecom Issue as Callers Unable to Contact 999

After suffering some issues with their telecom systems, BT left areas around the UK unable to contact 999.

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Yesterday, an unknown technical error meant that 999 calls could not be connected. Problems with the service were first noticed at 08:30am, when calls would not connect. This sent many areas into panic, with statements being posted by most region’s ambulance services about alternative ways to contact emergency services.

BT set up the temporary backup system for some time, but multiple complaints came in that it wasn’t reliable, with calls delaying to connect, and the alongside location tool, that identifies the user’s whereabouts via a single text, is ‘not as effective’ as the typical 999 system. 

An hour into the issue, a BT spokesperson released that the issue was ‘ongoing’ and added that their engineers were ‘working hard’ to fix the issue. This was, unexpectedly, met with controversy, with people believing there should have been ‘something’ in place to prevent the issue. 

Due to the backup options not being so reliable, it led to more panic as police release statements on the increased rate of emergency calls at the time, as well as what to do if you could get connected, to minimise time before sending out the necessary service. This, as well as telling people to have their location ready, or even to describe via landmarks and what3words, a site that categorizes every area in the UK through 3 words. 

Overall, this telecoms error was a huge issue. To struggle to connect to a friend is one thing, but when most of the nation are unable to connect to the emergency services, it’s a monumental issue. 

BT later reported a total system failure, causing the emergency services to be completely cut off from callers. They also ruled out the possibility of it being a third-party issue, the hot weather, or an android 999 error from earlier in the week. 

Unfortunately, it seems we’ll never quite find out what happened to BT’s best telecom systems. Either way, its at least a little better to know we’ll all be a little more equipped if it happens again. 

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