back to article Ofcom finds 'reasonable grounds' that KCOM failed to maintain 999 services

UK comms watchdog Ofcom has today said it has "reasonable grounds" for believing operator KCOM failed to maintain emergency services access in Hull. KCOM notified Ofcom in February 2016 that its phone service in the region had suffered a “temporary reduction in availability.” In an update today the regulator said: "Ofcom has …

  1. Mr Dogshit


    Back in 2005, a colleague of mine lived on the edge of KCOM monopoly in a place called Brough.

    BT came round one day, and dug half the street up. They stopped just before they got to his house. He went outside and pleaded with the blokes, but they wouldn't go any further.

    Anyway, quite often this fellow would find that when he picked the phone up, instead of a dial tone he'd get a recording saying "sorry, all lines are busy".

    One evening at 8pm for the craic, he picked up the phone and dialled 999. He got a recording saying "sorry, all lines are busy". A friend who knows about these things said that shouldn't have happened since the 1950s.

  2. Your alien overlord - fear me

    "in Hull, Cottingham and Beverley" - not really saying much if they flogged off their 'national infrastructure'. Do they know how big the UK is?

    1. djberriman

      They did indeed have a national infrastructure which they sold off, I was suprised when they built it but have now seen the error of their ways and refocused on the local area and are in a mad dash to install fibre to the premise before they lose their monopoly.

      The sale included 1,100 km of duct and fiber cables across 24 UK cities, as well as another 1,100 km of national long distance networks that connects these cities to major data center locations across the UK.

      however the article is wrong about the area KCOM serviceThey indeed serve Hull , Cottingham and Beverley as well as many other villages in East Yorkshire. The peson who wrote the article appears to have relied on wikipedia and cut and pasted from there.

  3. Kingstonian

    999 - not in Hull in the 1950s

    In the Hull telephone area in the 1950s 99 was the emergency number - no need for the extra 9

    1. Chris Fox

      Re: 999 - not in Hull in the 1950s

      Not just not in Hull, and not just the 1950s. This was true of a number of places more recently than that. Despite the number officially being "999", on some exchanges your call would be put through to emergency services on the second "9" if there was no ambiguity. This could catch you out. Many UK regions still supported non-area code trunk prefixes into the late 80s: you could hop exchanges using prefixes, many of which started with a "9". You could concatenate exchange prefixes to jump between town and rural exchanges, e.g. 993, where the first 9 set up a link to the local urban centre, then 93 took you to some other smaller town. (This was how it was supposed to work, although ... allegedly... you could abuse it by routing a long-distance call manually over long chains of local exchange links, and avoid paying the then much higher long-distance rates.) But if you used a payphone connected directly to the main urban exchange and forgot to drop the initial 9, then you could find yourself surprised as emergency services picked up the call the instant you finished dialling the second 9. No doubt this all came to an end with the rise of fixed-area codes, and the fall of the Strowger switch, that culminated in Phone Day in 1995.

  4. PacketPusher


    What is 112?

    1. Steve Foster

      Re: 112?

      It's what Europe use instead of 999. So while we're (temporarily still) part of the EU, it's required to work here as well (at least, that's AIUI). But, as is usual with EU measures, we continued with 999 for us.

      1. Jon Gibbins

        Re: 112?

        It's also more likely to connect you to a more local emergency representative rather than the 'national' 999.

    2. Mr Dogshit

      Re: 112?

      The pan-European emergency number, which has worked in the UK for decades and still does. We got special dispensation to keep 999 because we invented it way back.

      In some countries you have to ring a separate number for police, ambulance or fire brigade. I think in Austria there's a special number to call if you've been poisoned.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: 112?

        "The pan-European emergency number"

        It's also the hardcoded emergency number in all GSM phones.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm in Hull

    I'm on KCOM. To this day, nothing surprises me.

    1. Chloe Cresswell Silver badge

      Re: I'm in Hull

      Good service?

      Most of my clients on KC call them kingston clowns

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Probably easier than going through ofcom's switchboard.

    Probably easier than contacting ofcom or ofgem by phone (and getting resolution)

    Like to dish it out, but "bat you away" at any opportunity if you start to question their role as regulators. Phoning these regulators is just pointless, so difficult to get the mud to stick, against them.

  7. jms222

    but it's 0118 999 881 999 119 725 3

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mind you...

    Why would anyone want to contact Blunderside Police? If you want a policeman to come round to your house, you'd be better off joining Uniform Dating.

  9. ParasiteParty

    Piss up, brewery.

    KCOM couldn't organise one.

  10. Gordon Pryra

    Reasonable grounds for believing the operator would fail.

    Yes, there are reasonable grounds for believing the operator would fail.

    The 4 letters "KCOM" gives it away.....

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