Plans to increase the resilience of the 999 system were announced

Plans to increase the resilience of the 999 system were announced

The government has announced new measures it says will increase the resilience of the 999 system, following the worst outage in nearly 90 years.

Technical issues across the country mean calls are not being connected to emergency services in June 2023.

The government will increase its surveillance of any future incidents and improve communication between emergency services.

BT, which manages the system, said it “doesn’t live up to its own high standards.”

Ofcom is investigating the telecoms firm, which is responsible for the offence, with a decision expected in the coming months.

“The level of disruption to services on Sunday 25 June 2023 is unprecedented and we sincerely apologize for the inconvenience caused,” said BT security boss Howard Watson.

“As outlined in the Government’s Post-Incident Review, we have put in place a comprehensive improvement plan to prevent this series of events from happening again.”

To improve its surveillance of similar events in the future, the government will identify who is responsible and accountable for the 999 system in the face of different threats, such as cyber attacks and natural disasters.

And it will identify ways to advise people on what to do so people can call emergency services if the 999 system becomes inaccessible across the UK.

It said the plan would be implemented by the end of April 2024.

“We are determined to prevent history from repeating itself, with public safety a top priority,” Technology minister Michelle Donelan said.

“This is why, following a comprehensive review of the incident, we are working with BT to establish enhanced resilience measures, ensuring the UK is always ready to deal effectively with major emergencies.”

Although the outage affected various emergency services in different parts of the country, no confirmed cases of serious harm have been linked to it.

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