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Joint paper by Google, Microsoft and EENA on emergency calls and OTTs
Microsoft, Google and the European Emergency Number Association (EENA) published today a joint position paper on the provisions of the proposed European Electronic Communications Code (EECC) referring to access to emergency services from over-the-top players (OTTs).
The signatories welcome the proposal but would like to highlight some points necessary to understand the mandate on OTTs to provide access to emergency services:
- Access to 112 from OTTs represents a minor percentage of emergency calls. When it comes to access to emergency services, stronger attention should be given to higher priorities, such as improving the accuracy of caller location for calls originating from mobile phones.
- A mandate on access to 112 from OTTs can be implemented only if there is one single end-point in each Member State. This would imply important changes in the organisation of many countries in the way they handle emergency calls.
- Reliability of calls to 112 should be guaranteed in order to make sure that calls to emergency services will go through.
- There should be clear exemptions for services for which these obligations are simply not practical or relevant (e.g. emails).
EENA, the European Emergency Number Association, is a Brussels-based NGO set up in 1999 dedicated to promoting high-quality emergency services reached by the number 112 throughout the EU. EENA serves as a discussion platform for emergency services, public authorities, decision makers, researchers, associations and solution providers with a view to improving the emergency response in accordance with citizens' requirements. EENA is also promoting the establishment of an efficient system for alerting citizens about imminent or developing emergencies.
The EENA memberships include more than 1300 emergency services representatives from over 80 countries world-wide, 80 solution providers, 15 international associations/organisations, more than 200 Members of the European Parliament and over 90 researchers.