Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Problems with City Council's Emergency Telephone Service

Following complaints from constituents about the City Council's Emergency Telephone Service not being accessible recently, I raised this concern with the council and the Head of IT has responded as follows:

"We had a serious issue with our telephony service on Thursday night, which was fully cleared at 10:00am on Friday. Contingency plans were put in place overnight to reduce disruption, but your constituents' assessment of impact is fairly accurate.

There is resilience in the system for the emergency line, but despite regular testing, this did not work as it should have. This issue, and the main failure issue are being investigated as a matter of urgency by our supplier and my staff.

We have put in a short-term contingency of rebooting a server overnight, which will prevent reoccurrence.   However, the overall issue will remain as an urgent open call with our supplier until root-cause is identified.   This is part of our normal process to ensure minimum disruption.

For information, we are also currently engaged in a longer-term migration of the telephone system which is leading to lower charges and greater resilience."

I have given my view that the emergency number (434343) should be on a completely separate system than the main council phone system to avoid 434343 going out of action if the council's main system fails.